Here at MPAtlas.org we often get asked how much of the ocean would be protected as a result of various proposed and promised marine protected areas (MPAs). In order to help visitors to MPAtlas.org see the results for themselves, we’ve created the Ocean Protection Calculator.
As you can see from the tool below, it is hard to “move the needle” on marine protection. More than half of the 11,000 MPAs in MPAtlas.org’s database are less than 10 km2 in size, while the largest 28 existing and as yet unimplemented MPAs account for 4.4% of the total ocean area. The designation of large MPAs has accelerated over recent years, however, we still have a long way to go to achieve the globally recommended 30% MPA coverage. More important than pushing towards these numbers, we need to ensure that the designated protection is effectively and strategically implemented and recognize the need to focus on strongly protected MPAs to achieve the goals of marine protection.