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BOPP’s core principles guiding the development of Bermuda’s Marine Spatial Plan include, among others, using the best-available science to inform proposed activities and developments in marine spaces, and managing the environment to conserve biodiversity and maintain ecosystem function.


These principles are supported by the goals and objectives of the Marine Spatial Plan, and also provide transparency in the decision making process by clearly demonstrating how the development and implementation of a zoned, managed, and well-enforced network of MPAs can protect Bermuda’s marine environments, preserve its cultural heritage, and build resilience in the island’s blue economies.

Click here to download a document on MPA Impacts Globally (PDF).




  • Marine reserves have rapid and lasting effects.

  • Periodic Closure areas have above average biomass and fish size.

  • No-take MPAs have Positive effects on the biomass numerical density, species richness, and size of organisms within reserve boundaries.

  • MPAs are defensible instruments for pelagic conservation.

  • Fully Protect, no-take marine reserves are the most effective type of MPA.


  • Small community-based protected areas (Locally Managed Marine Areas) can yield significant increase in biological productivity.

  • In the context of diving, the total value of a reserve becomes greater than pre-reserve value within five years of protection & may increase further as biomass & diversity increases.

  • MPAs can directly and indirectly influence the quality and quantity of tourism by increasing visitor numbers, length of stays, business opportunities, and revenue, creating eco-tourism sectors, and extending peak tourist seasons.

  • MPA designation and implementation can improve local income, create previously non-existent blue economy sectors and jobs, and increase scientific research and tourist visits in off-peak seasons.

  • Tourism benefits households directly involved in the tourism sector and those indirectly linked with the sector through production and income linkages. Tourism operators hire local people and buy local goods, and households spend wages or businesses spend profits earned through the tourism sector.

  • Marine Protected Areas are preferred destinations providing more cultural ecosystem services than other adjacent coastal areas.


  • Species closures led to large increases in clam numbers inside closed areas and in nearby fishing areas; catch per unit of effort increased in the area adjacent to a closed area; certain species that had disappeared locally returned to the area; and habitat health improved within the closed areas.

  • Reserves can benefit fisheries, even those targeting species that are expensive to harvest.

  • Goukamma Marine Protected area has benefitted the adjacent Roman fishery.

  • Catch and catch-per-unit-effort are higher amongst Hawaii longline fleet since the expansions of two of the world’s biggest MPAs began.

  • Interactions of tuna purse seine fisheries with the Galápagos Marine Reserve might enhance fish stock availability to local fisheries and help to stabilize local catches.

  • In California, there was a greater build-up of lobsters within MPAs relative to unprotected areas, and greater increases in fishing effort and total lobster catch.

  • No decline in catch and no additional travel time for fisheries following the closure of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.


  • MPAs can protect migratory species, particularly those with predictable behaviors that are protected within MPAs.

  • The BIOT MPA likely offers protection to a variety of pelagic and reef species with a range of spatial ecologies.

  • Cost of licenses had not caused the observed decline in license sales but a shift in consumer demand toward lighter tuna species resulted in a decrease in Japanese imports for bigeye tuna

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