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Proposed Maps For Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

The Draft Blue Prosperity Plan includes two documents that work together: a Blue Economy Strategy and a Marine Spatial Plan. The Marine Spatial Plan aims to find the right balance of industry and development, while protecting the environment and marine resources for future generations. 

Through a series of maps and an associated management plan, the Marine Spatial Plan outlines a plan to protect 20% of Bermuda’s waters as fully protected Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This will result in enhanced ecosystem health, which will support a thriving and more resilient ocean-based economy while reducing user conflicts.

We received a variety of public feedback on issues related to the proposed MPA network, and key themes centred on concerns that:

  • Proposed protection is not adequate to fully meet the ecological objectives 

  • The complexities of fishing have not been adequately considered

  • The proposed protection will impact the ability to maintain critical infrastructure 

  • MPA placement should enhance tourism and not limit potential development opportunities

Read about how MPAs are planned and possible solutions in Bermuda to minimise concerns:

Watch: Updates to the Proposed Maps for Marine Protected Area

Based on feedback, the Blue Prosperity Plan is being updated in the following ways: 

  • To address concerns that the complexities of fishing have not been adequately considered, the results from both the updated Ocean Use Survey and specific stakeholder feedback will be used to modify the proposed MPA network so that no individual fishery is too heavily impacted, and that there is sufficient area across appropriate depths for all types of fishing gear to continue operating successfully. 

  • To ensure MPA placement enhances Bermuda’s tourism industry and local businesses, modifications will be made to the MPA network to ensure the tourism sector can benefit from well-marketed marine reserves that encourage low impact recreational and tourism activities, while not preventing future opportunities for expansion.

  • To address potential impacts on utilities and infrastructure, the MPA network will be modified to ensure continued ability to perform critical maintenance on shipping lanes, cables, moorings, and shoreline infrastructure. 
    In order to designate protection to better achieve ecological objectives, proposed solutions include adding new data to the computer model that was used to design the MPA network; running the computer model with different inputs and limits; considering the various outputs and how they balance with the needs of ocean user groups; and comparing the model results to the priority conservation areas identified by the Science Committee. 

Learn more about the Proposed Areas for Protection

  • Read about the Draft Blue Prosperity Plan, including information on proposed areas for protection

  • Learn more about Marine Spatial Planning in Bermuda

  • Read the report on The State of Bermuda's Waters

Read the Draft Marine Spatial Plan,

part of the Blue Prosperity Plan:

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