During the past 20 years, management efforts have increased to protect the ocean and to sustain its living marine resources, recreational opportunities, and cultural and historical resources. Now that many MMAs have been in place for several years, it is essential to assess their progress toward management objectives and conservation outcomes: Are MMAs working? How do we achieve successful MMAs?
- Core Ecological Monitoring
Using standardized protocols to monitor biodiversity and other ecological factors inside and outside established MMAs, this research identifies and measures changes caused by the management regime, rather than other human influences or natural variation.
Principal Investigators: Burton Shank (Belize), Rodrigo de Moura (Brazil), Jean-François Bertrand (Fiji), Hector Guzman and Stuart Banks (Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape)
Belize (PDF, 2.9 MB)
Brazil (PDF, 221 KB)
Fiji (PDF, 688 KB)
Galapagos - Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape (2.4 MB)
Panama - Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape (442 KB)
Global Ecological Monitoring Synthesis (86 KB)
- Core Socioeconomic and Governance Monitoring
We used standardized social science methods to measure changes in socioeconomic and governance conditions associated with MMAs. A comparison among the sites considered how MMAs produce larger, global effects.
Principal Investigators: Adele Catzim and Diane Haylock (Belize), Isabela Curado (Brazil), Patrick Sakiusa Fong (Fiji), Juan Mate (Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape-Panama), Diego Quiroga (Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape-Ecuador), Giselle Samonte-Tan (Global)
Belize (PDF, 5.2 MB)
Brazil (PDF, 1.9 MB)
Fiji (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape - Galapagos (1.7 MB)
Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape - Panama Socioeconomic (2 MB) • Governance (705 KB)
Global Socioeconomic and Governance Monitoring Synthesis (3.3 MB)
- Global Analysis of MMA Effectiveness
We investigated the effects of MMAs on ecosystems and people around the world, and we identified the critical factors that influence those effects.
Principal Investigators: Craig Dahlgren, Robert Pomeroy, Tammy Campson
Science Report (143 KB)
- Predictive Decision-Support Tool
We developed a tool called the Marine Integrated Decision Analysis System (MIDAS), which enables managers, policy makers, and stakeholders to predict the effectiveness of MMAs based on interactions of ecological, socioeconomic, and governance factors.
Principal Investigator: Suchi Gopal
MIDAS User Guide (2.2 MB)
- Ecological Effects of No-take MMAs
We investigated several existing but unanalyzed data sets to determine the ecological effects of MMAs in the Philippines.
Principal Investigator: Amanda Vincent
Science Report (115 KB)
- Diagnostic System for Ecosystem Health
We developed and piloted a new standard diagnostic system to evaluate the health of coral reef communities within MMAs.
Principal Investigator: Enric Sala
Science Report (PDF, 1.9 MB)
- Advanced Biosensors
We developed information and diagnostic tools to provide greater understanding and power in performing microbial assays and genetic tests to predict early onset of stress to coral colonies (e.g., bleaching and disease).
Principal Investigators: Forest Rowher and John Finnerty
Advanced biosensors - microbial (PDF, 815 KB)
Advanced biosensors - genetic (PDF, 643 KB)
- Extinction Resistance
We assessed abundance and distribution of threatened marine biodiversity to determine the effectiveness of existing MMA networks at protecting these imperiled species.
Principal Investigators: Thomas Brooks and Graham Edgar
Science Report (221 KB)
In February 2010, 35 stakeholders and scientists met to discuss key messages from the 8 MMAS studies conducted in Belize to date. As next steps, the participants are developing a paper to Cabinet urging them to approve enhanced mangrove regulations, and they are engaging with the Belize Tourism Board to develop codes of conduct for tourists to prevent damage to coral reefs and fish spawning sites.
Our scientists discovered extensive areas of coral reefs with tremendous biodiversity offshore at Abrolhos Bank, and demonstrated key ecological connections between these areas and coastal habitats. Scientific discoveries such as this contributed to the Ministry of Environment accelerating the creation of Cassurubá Extractive Reserve (100,000 ha), protecting mangroves as nursery sites for many fish species.
- Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape (ETPS)
Based in part on MMAS-supported research in Coiba National Park, a partnership of scientists, fishermen, conservation organizations, and park managers agreed to pursue new fisheries regulations to ensure long-term sustainable use of targeted economically valuable species.
We released the first global compilation of the economic values of reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses, and the first global assessment of socioeconomic conditions of the tropical coasts. These publications have already been used by World Bank staff, Asian Development Bank staff, and a U.S. Congresswoman to demonstrate the importance of increasing conservation efforts for coral reefs.