The largest synthesis of important marine areas conducted to date by a multidisciplinary team of researchers including Ellen Pikitch, PhD, and Christine Santora of SoMAS and Dr. Natasha Gownaris, a PhD graduate of Stony Brook University reveals that a large portion of earth’s oceans are considered important and are good candidates for protection. The team examined 10 diverse and internationally recognized maps depicting global marine priority areas. The findings, published in Frontiers in Marine Science, may serve as a roadmap for the goal set by the United Nations to create 10 percent of the ocean as marine protected areas (MPAs) by 2020.

Areas identified as important by four non-governmental and six United Nations initiatives. Adapted from Fig. 2A in “Gaps in Protection of Important Ocean Areas: A Spatial Meta-Analysis of Ten Global Mapping Initiatives,” by N.J. Gownaris et al., 2019, Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 650. Adapted in 2019 by M. Grima with permission.

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