This chapter discusses marine protected areas (MPAs). Various types of MPAs have been established worldwide for a wide variety of reasons, including prevention of overfishing, protection of species and habitats, preservation of special areas, as insurance policies for large-scale impacts, as nurseries for exploited species, and to restore trophic linkages and ecosystem functioning. The formation of MPAs has been a long-fought battle by scientists and environmentalists who now have considerable credence with a wide range of stakeholders, who have increasingly recognized the stresses on coastal ecosystems and the need for some form of protection. In many ways, MPAs are simple management tools, affording partial or full protection from exploitation of species and habitats within their borders.
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