4 things to know about Marine Protected AreasWhat is a marine protected area?
Very simply, a Protected Area is a geographical space that is managed in a way that allows for the sustainable conservation of nature and that allows nature to continue to provide the services to sustain biodiversity. Biodiversity is the diversity of living beings (animals, plants, organisms) that live in nature.
Marine protected areas are all this and are found in the oceans and coastal areas.
Why do we need marine areas and why do we need to protect them?
The creation and development of marine protected areas is important for several reasons:
- Marine and coastal ecosystems such as coral reefs must be conserved because they are home to many species of fish, crustaceans and corals. Living beings are born, live and grow there.
- These ecosystems are also food reserves for us, and provide a living for all the coastal communities of Madagascar.
- Marine protected areas also serve as open-air labs where scientists do their research to understand how the oceans work, to make sure everything is going well, and to get scientific information that helps manage our oceans in an efficient and sustainable way.
- Finally, these places help protect our coasts from climatic hazards like hurricanes.
- In short, healthy marine areas benefit both nature and people and help us better cope with the effects of climate change. So there are only good things about creating places that are managed in a way that allows nature to preserve itself and continue to flourish.
Nosy Hara: what is its ecological importance for us to intervene there?
The results of various studies undertaken in the northwest of Madagascar have shown for Nosy Hara that :
The relative health of the coral reefs and associated ecosystems (marine phanerogam meadows, mangroves) is maintained.
The fish populations are very diversified with iconic species such as the Napoleon fish and the humpback parrot fish.
The diversity of coral species in Nosy Hara is comparable with that of the Coral Triangle in the Pacific.
The waters of Nosy Hara have a good dynamic of marine currents and a connectivity allowing an effective exchange between the various organisms (larvae, fish). Thus, many species can develop in these waters stirred by different currents between the Mozambique Channel and the Indian Ocean.