Our Whales are in danger and one of the most important initiatives to help protect them are the Marine Protected Areas.  These are specially designated areas of the ocean where human activity is restricted in order to help conserve the natural habitats and provide a safe area for marine life.  It’s actually a bit of a generic term which covers all sorts of different protected areas and conservation initiatives.

The MPA is basically a highest level of protection – there is normally no commercial fishing or industrial use allowed in these areas. Another more specific area defined in Europe is the Special Area of Conservation.  These are controlled by National governments and are primarily implemented to protect  the habitats of marine species like whales, porpoises and dolphins.

For creatures such as whales and dolphins which are very mobile you might think that having specific areas is of lilttle use.  However nearly all species have crucial areas which are vital for their survival.  These might be areas where they breed or seasonal feeding grounds – protecting such key areas can have a huge impact on a species survival chances.

It can be that MPAs are only assigned for these specific times.   So that an area known to be a breeding ground for certain months of a year is assigned MPA status for that period only.  This can allow restrictions on human activity over this period and more relaxed at other times.

There are many more initiatives happening across the world.  It’s worth checking out scientific and media sites especially if you’re keen on keeping up to date on news on Whales or dolphins for example.  Unfortunately there are often restrictions on  many sites – for example some American media and scientific sites are only available to people who are based in the US – check this site out if you need help – http://www.proxyusa.com/.  It will show you the options for changing your IP address to be able to access those sites without restriction.

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