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Marine Conservation

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Submitted By papermate12
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Discuss one management practice for sustainability and conservation of natural resources in that ecosystem

The protection of marine species and ecosystems in oceans and seas worldwide is marine conservation. Marine conservation involves the protection and restoration of species, populations and habitats while mitigating human activities such as overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, whaling and other issues that affect marine life and habitats.
The goal of marine conservation is accomplished by enforcing and creating laws, such as the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. It is also done by establishing marine protected areas, studying populations through conducting stock assessments and mitigating human activities with the goal of restoring populations. A recent practice that has become popular in marine conservation is the use of Marine Conservation Agreements (MCAs).
Through recent years of research, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have realized that the creation of formal protected areas may not be adequate enough to protect ocean and coastal biodiversity, particularly in areas where rights have already been contracted to specific owners and users. In order to address this, NGOs have increased their usage of MCAs to complement other marine and coastal protection efforts. Marine Conservation Agreements consist of any formal or informal understanding in which one or more parties commit to delivering explicit economic incentives in exchange for one or more other parties committing to take certain actions, refrain from certain actions, or transfer certain rights and responsibilities to achieve agreed-upon ocean or coastal conservation goals. MCAs can be entered on multiple levels which include governments, communities, private entities, and private individuals. Marine Conservation Agreements are based on the agreed upon terms and conditions. They are often bottom-up approaches, and include a quid-pro-quo incentive which is when all parties receive benefits. International treaties and conventions that address ocean management and conservation issues have also been referred to as MCAs.
Marine Conservation Agreements and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) differ, but both often lead to the similar effects. Formal MPAs are often established by government entities through law or policy, while MCAs are established between different entities usually a resource owner or user and an NGO. Both MPAs and MCAs can be used to protect specific sites and resources. MCAs can also be used to supplement and increase the number and effectiveness of formal MPAs when the establishment of additional MPAs is not possible. In certain situations MCAs can be used as the starting point for the formal establishment of MPAs or can provide a mechanism for local stakeholder involvement in collaborative management of MPAs.

Schiffman, Howard S. 2008. Marine Conservation Agreements: The Law and Policy of Reservations and Vetoes. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff

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