With the ever increasing use of our oceans also comes the price of ever increasing pressure and threats to its well-being. Many resources have been fully exploited, overexploited or depleted, there has been a reduction in biodiversity, and degradation of marine habitats and species. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a key tool used to protect ecosystems from the effects of industrial activity and play an important role in effectively zoning our oceans.
Currently there are over 6,000 MPAs across our oceans. These areas are crucial to achieve the long-term conservation of nature and the associated ecosystems within them. There are many types of different MPAs including wildlife refuges, monuments and marine sanctuaries, fisheries closures, critical habitat and habitat areas of particular concern.
While the concept of MPAs is an excellent idea, unless there is a way to monitor these areas, they are not beneficial to the oceans. A monitoring system is needed to track vessels breaching the zoning of the protected areas in order to enforce corrective actions and prosecute offenders. By establishing enforcement of the rules within these areas, authorities are better able to protect the ocean environment.
This is where Satellite AIS data can play an integral role in the effective monitoring of Marine Protected Areas as ocean surveillance is extended into remote protected areas.
To learn more about Satellite AIS technology and how it is helping maritime authorities better monitor MPAs, download this free e-Book: http://main.exactearth.com/marine-protected-areas