It is widely agreed that human impact contributes a large proportion of environmental damage. To counter this in the marine environment it has been suggested that a network of MCZs (Marine Conservation Zones) could be set up in which would a) allow suffering populations time to recover, b) prevent irreversible degradation to any species therein, and c) preserve areas which best represent a range of habitats and species. There are three already in place around the coast of the
There are environmental and ecological conditions which have to be met before a MCZ can be assigned. The area has to be connected so that nutrients and larvae can be transported in and out and there must be a wide enough representation of habitats and organisms.
Some NGOs advocate that MCZs should be chosen purely on scientific environmental factors and that the ecological impacts should be handled as part of the management of the site after it has been designated. The problem with this is that if the more destructive human activities are banned in a certain area they may be displaced to an area which had previously avoided undue disruption, disturbing the ecosystem which is in place. Another problem is that those who depend on these areas for a livelihood are unlikely to appreciate being told that they can’t live and work there anymore.