The world?s oceans are increasingly affected by impacts from many different sources: overfishing, climate change, coastal and offshore industrial development, to name a few. These impacts may result in the reduction and depletion of fish stocks, degradati on of important habitats, and threats to endangered species. Such losses may be significant and could ultimately jeopardize our social and economic structure.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly recognized as an important and promising managem ent tool for mitigating or buffering some of many impacts on marine systems, including overfishing, climate change, and habitat degradation. When used effectively, and as a part of a broader ecosystem-based approach to management, MPAs can help to restore and maintain healthy marine environments by contributing to the overall protection of critical marine habitats and resources. They can also serve as reference areas for important baseline information regarding the effects of fishing on marine populations and habitats. Effective MPAs can also offer social and economic opportunities for current and future generations, such as tourism, fishing, education, and other scientific research.
We request funding to organise a workshop to discuss specific topics re lated to the design, implementation and assessment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) with the objective to focus on future international collaborative projects. This workshop will bring together leading researchers in the field from the USA and Norway to d iscuss their current research and their future plans. The workshop will promote and encourage the sharing of ideas and methodologies, and enable the participants to meet face-to-face to develop collaborative grant applications for submission to their resp ective funding agencies in 2010.