WHAT IS AN MPA?
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a protected area is a marine landscape with legally defined boundaries where human activity is restricted by explicitly outlined policies. These policies have to be implemented and enforced by local, regional, or international authorities to conserve ecosystems for their natural or cultural value.
The level of restriction can vary depending on how ecologically sensitive and important the area is, and the benefits to conservation that come from relaxing restrictions for purposes such as education.
Restrictions range from catch limits on certain species or the type of activities allowed, to complete bans on any human activity that does not aid conservation efforts or serve a culturally significant purpose.