MARINE PROTECTED AREAS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     30th May 2024        

Context: A new study has found that 62% of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) dedicated to protect rare migratory fish species (Diadromous fish) fall outside their core habitats.

Marine Protected Areas (MPA)

  • About: It is a section of the ocean where a government has placed limits on human activity. Many MPAs allow people to use the area in ways that do not damage the environment. MPAs are regarded as one of the most potent conservation tools for protection of marine habitats and their resources.
  • Goals of MPAs: The main focus of many MPAs is to protect marine habitats and the variety of life that they support.
  • Global Coverage: 8.16%
  • Global Distribution: More than 5,000

Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in India

  • MPAs in India has been used as a tool to manage natural marine resources for biodiversity conservation and for the well-being of people dependent on it.
  • Regulation: Wild Life (Protection), Amendment Act of 2002, Coastal regulation zone (CRZ), UN high seas treaty etc.
  • Economic and Environmental Importance: More than 30% of India’s population depends on these areas. India is the 3rd largest fish producing and 2nd largest aquaculture nation in the world after China. 
  • MPAs in Peninsular India: 24
  • MPAs in Islands of India: 106.

Key Points of Study

  • Diadromous fish are those which migrate between saltwater and freshwater environments.

o These are sensitive to anthropogenic pressures. 

o They are subjected to terrestrial, freshwater, and marine pressures such as agricultural and pollutant runoffs, habitat destruction, barriers to migration, fishing, bycatch, and climate change.

  • Only 55% of modelled core habitats identified for diadromous fish overlapped with Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
  • They were observed during their at-sea migration in the southern North Sea, Bay of Biscay, French Mediterranean waters, and the English Channel.