Oceana believes it is necessary to study and create marine protected areas in order to halt the degradation of the marine environment. In addition, the information allows management measures to be established for the activities developed in it, including fishing. Consequently, protection can be increased for marine and coastal areas, activities in this environment are balanced and sustainable, and citizens respect and accept the protected areas. The basic conditions include:
To multiply the surface area of marine protected spaces immediately and develop logical and real plans that make sense for these areas. The political commitments acquired for the protection of marine areas should not conclude with a mere line on a map. Instead, protection areas must be designated based on scientific criteria, including habitats and species that are essential for the health of our seas.
The designation of protected areas should also address the socioeconomic sectors of the region, to foster the acceptance of these. A wide variety of social agents intervene in marine areas and these should be aware of and participate in the management and protection processes of these areas.
Achieve a stable and permanent political funding commitment for marine protected areas.
Promote research and studies on species and marine areas.
Protect an ecosystem as a whole. Protection of ecological areas should not be limited to the extension of territorial interests of regions or countries, but to the delimitation of the biotope and its area of influence.
Areas with “rare” or representative values, or sites with important ecological functions within the environment. Not all marine areas are necessarily spectacular to the human eye. Some rocky or sandy areas require the same protection because many species use them as nurseries or for other ecological functions.
Address the ecosystem’s capacity to absorb impacts. Reduce or eliminate fishing gear or activities that may negatively affect the currently protected ecosystems or those to be protected.
Develop monitoring plans to supervise the state and evolution of the protected areas.
Establish a surveillance system and apply effective sanctions for infringements.