Leading marine scientists recommend managing 30% of the ocean in strong, no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) to ensure healthy oceans. Our Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) initiative works towards that 30% goal through setting clear, science-based standards for effective ocean protection and recognizing MPAs that meet those criteria. Last year, for the first time, GLORES recognized three exemplary MPAs at IMPAC4: Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, and Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary. Now, we’re thrilled to announce this year’s GLORES award nominees!
The following MPAs have been nominated for Global Ocean Refuge awards and advanced through the first round of the evaluation process by demonstrating evidence of meeting GLORES Criteria for conservation effectiveness. We plan to announce the 2018 award winners at this year’s Our Ocean conference. Follow the links below to learn more about each nominee.
Cape Rodney-Okakari Point Marine Reserve
Cape Rodney-Okakari Point Marine Reserve is New Zealand’s oldest marine reserve and it is known for subtropical habitats that are representative of their biodiverse and unique waters, including kelp forests and sponge-dominated deep rocky reefs.
Réserve Naturelle Marine de Cerbère-Banyuls
France’s Réserve Naturelle Marine de Cerbère-Banyuls is one of the oldest MPAs in the Mediterranean. It is renowned for its effective management and ecological richness, including seagrass meadows.
Chumbe Island Coral Reef Sanctuary
Chumbe Island Coral Reef Sanctuary, located off the coast of Tanzania, is renowned for its rich coral diversity and the many unique and locally rare species that call it home.
De Hoop Marine Protected Area
De Hoop Marine Protected Area is a South African coastal MPA that protects unique intertidal ecosystems. It provides refuge to overfished species and is important habitat for the southern right whale.
Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park
Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park in the Bahamas serves as an ecological refuge to numerous plant, coral and animal species due to its relatively undisturbed coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds ecosystems.
Misool Private Marine Reserve
Misool Private Marine Reserve in Indonesia harbors one of the richest coral reefs within the highly biodiverse Coral Triangle. Misool is home to many endemic species, including the Raja Ampat walking shark.
Portugal’s Ilhas Selvagens harbor one of the last intact marine ecosystems in the North Atlantic Ocean and maintain high coastal fish species diversity within a small area. The MPA is known for its abundance of mollusks, crustaceans, and gastropods.
Wilsons Promontory Marine Protected Areas
Wilsons Promontory Marine Protected Areas has high species richness and high diversity indices as well as higher than average abundances for most fish species compared to other areas in Australia’s Victoria state.