Dr. Anna-Lea Golz

Marine ecosystems are under constant pressure from human activities. We dump our waste into the ocean, be it unintentionally, like plastics, or intentionally, like sewage and industrial waste. We extract a variety of natural resources from the oceans, from fishing to minerals, oil and gas. And we use the oceans for transportation through constant shipping. In the face of all these pressures, how can we protect and preserve marine ecosystems from the ever-tightening squeeze of human impact? Marine Protected Areas (in short, MPAs) have been proposed as one of the most important management tools in marine conservation but how do they work? What are they actually protecting the ecosystem from? And is their protection as effective as it seems?