Report | October 10, 2023

50 marine sanctuaries in Spain: Proposal for strictly protected marine areas

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are the best tool for ocean conservation, if they are properly managed. Their purpose is to protect the marine environment and the habitats and species that live within it. Their benefits are well-known and for that reason MPAs have been  established in all the seas of the world, as is the case with protected natural areas on land. However, MPAs only are effective when human activities within or around them do not have negative impacts on the marine ecosystems. In other words, it is necessary to avoid any  damage to the ecosystems that make up those areas. Even so, many MPAs are  poorly managed, with a high level of permissiveness of harmful activities. Thus, they become ‘paper parks’,  their protection on paper does not translate into real protection at sea and so the indisputable ability of well-managed MPAs to restore marine environment is lost.