Webchat: New Study that Finds MPA Siting Is Biased Toward Areas Providing Little Protection to the Most Threatened Species and Ecosystems


In this interactive ‘Office Hour’ chat, co-authors Rodolphe Devillers (Memorial University of Newfoundland) and Jack Kittinger (Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford University) will take your questions on their recent article in the journal Aquatic Conservation, “Reinventing residual reserves in the sea: are we favoring ease of establishment over need for protection?” In their analysis of MPAs worldwide, with a particular focus on Australia, Devillers and Kittinger found that new MPAs are typically biased toward places that are remote or unpromising for extractive activities (fishing and petroleum extraction). Such locations typically provide little protection to the species and ecosystems that are most exposed to threatening processes. As a result, the new MPAs present almost no difference to “business as usual” for the ocean's ongoing use. Their paper, which recommends steps to prevent the bias, is available in Open Access.