Seaflower Marine Protected Area

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Chapter 4. ECOLOGICAL CRITERIA

(Guidelines and Criteria Section B/ Ecological Criteria) Nominated areas must conform to at least one of the eight ecological criteria. Describe how the nominated site satisfies one or more of the following criteria. (Attach in Annex any relevant supporting documents.)

Representativeness:


Name the type of habitats considered of Caribbean representativeness and their estimated
cover (ha).
· Coral reefs – 218,850 ha
· Mangroves – 250 ha
· Seagrass beds – approximately 2,000 ha
· Algal beds – 4,310 ha
· Beaches – 2,940 ha

Conservation value:


1) No-entry, with use restricted to research and monitoring (11,600 ha);
2) No-take, allowing a variety of non-extractive uses (221,400 ha);
3) Artisanal fishing, for use by traditional fishers only (201,500 ha);
4) Special use, for specific uses like shipping lanes, large-vessel anchorage, ports, and
marinas or uses with the potential to generate conflict like heavily used water sports areas
(6,800 ha); and
5) General use, where minimal restrictions apply to preserve MPA integrity and promote
marine conservation.
These zones were designed by the community and authorities using an ecosystem-based
approach to assure the protection of ecologically important areas, and hence of biodiversity
habitat and ecosystem services. Zoning criteria included representativeness, connectivity, key
habitats, ease of demarcation, likelihood to foster compliance, and the potential to effectively
meet MPA objectives.