Protecting the global ocean for biodiversity, food and climate

Type Article
Date 2021-04
Language English
Author(s) Sala EnricORCID1, Mayorga JuanORCID1, 2, Bradley DarcyORCID2, Cabral Reniel B.ORCID2, Atwood Trisha B.ORCID3, Auber ArnaudORCID4, Cheung WilliamORCID5, Costello ChristopherORCID2, Ferretti Francesco6, Friedlander Alan M.1, 7, Gaines Steven D.ORCID2, Garilao Cristina8, Goodell Whitney1, 7, Halpern Benjamin S.ORCID9, Hinson AudraORCID3, Kaschner Kristin8, Kesner-Reyes Kathleen10, Leprieur Fabien11, McGowan JenniferORCID12, Morgan Lance E.13, Mouillot DavidORCID11, Palacios-Abrantes JulianoORCID5, Possingham Hugh P.ORCID14, Rechberger Kristin D.15, Worm Boris16, Lubchenco JaneORCID17
Affiliation(s) 1 : Pristine Seas, National Geographic Society, Washington, DC, USA
2 : Environmental Market Solutions Lab, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
3 : Department of Watershed Sciences and Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA
4 : IFREMER, Unité Halieutique de Manche et Mer du Nord, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
5 : Changing Ocean Research Unit, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
6 : Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA
7 : Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, Kāne‘ohe, HI, USA
8 : Evolutionary Biology and Ecology Laboratory, Albert Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany
9 : National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
10 : Quantitative Aquatics, Los Baños, The Philippines
11 : MARBEC, Université de Montpellier, Montpellier, France
12 : The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA, USA
13 : Marine Conservation Institute, Seattle, WA, USA
14 : Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science (CBCS), The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
15 : Dynamic Planet, Washington, DC, USA
16 : Ocean Frontiers Institute, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
17 : Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
Source Nature (0028-0836) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2021-04 , Vol. 592 , N. 7854 , P. 397-402
DOI 10.1038/s41586-021-03371-z
WOS© Times Cited 184

The ocean contains unique biodiversity, provides valuable food resources and is a major sink for anthropogenic carbon. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an effective tool for restoring ocean biodiversity and ecosystem services1,2, but at present only 2.7% of the ocean is highly protected3. This low level of ocean protection is due largely to conflicts with fisheries and other extractive uses. To address this issue, here we developed a conservation planning framework to prioritize highly protected MPAs in places that would result in multiple benefits today and in the future. We find that a substantial increase in ocean protection could have triple benefits, by protecting biodiversity, boosting the yield of fisheries and securing marine carbon stocks that are at risk from human activities. Our results show that most coastal nations contain priority areas that can contribute substantially to achieving these three objectives of biodiversity protection, food provision and carbon storage. A globally coordinated effort could be nearly twice as efficient as uncoordinated, national-level conservation planning. Our flexible prioritization framework could help to inform both national marine spatial plans4 and global targets for marine conservation, food security and climate action.

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Publisher's official version 15 4 MB Open access
Supplementary Figures 1-35, Supplementary Tables 1-2 and Supplementary References. 41 13 MB Open access
Reporting Summary 2 93 KB Open access
Author Correction 1 572 KB Open access
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Sala Enric, Mayorga Juan, Bradley Darcy, Cabral Reniel B., Atwood Trisha B., Auber Arnaud, Cheung William, Costello Christopher, Ferretti Francesco, Friedlander Alan M., Gaines Steven D., Garilao Cristina, Goodell Whitney, Halpern Benjamin S., Hinson Audra, Kaschner Kristin, Kesner-Reyes Kathleen, Leprieur Fabien, McGowan Jennifer, Morgan Lance E., Mouillot David, Palacios-Abrantes Juliano, Possingham Hugh P., Rechberger Kristin D., Worm Boris, Lubchenco Jane (2021). Protecting the global ocean for biodiversity, food and climate. Nature, 592(7854), 397-402. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :