Official MPA Map
Over the last several years the number and spatial extent of marine protected areas (MPAs) have increased rapidly. In 2000, the area covered by MPAs was approximately 2 million km2 (or 0.7% of the Ocean), since then there has been over a ten-fold increase in MPA coverage with 23 million km2 (or 7.59%) of the Ocean being covered by MPAs. Since 2010, marine protected area coverage has increased by over 14 million km2.
An additional 6.6 million km2 has been added to the MPA network over the last 12 months. This growth has been focused in waters under national jurisdiction, while in areas beyond national jurisdiction, MPAs make up only 1.18% of total area, showing no change from recent years.
Graph on the growth in protected area coverage shows trends in the growth in MPA coverage for the exclusive economic zone and for areas beyond national jurisdiction, together with trends in the growth in protected areas on land. Official MPA Map shows marine areas covered by MPAs.
Source: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN (2019). Marine Protected Planet [On-line], [May, 2019], Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN Available at: www.protectedplanet.net
Graphs: FAO and World Database
Based on FAO's monitoring of assessed stocks, the fraction of fish stocks that are within biologically sustainable levels has exhibited a decreasing trend from 90.0 percent in 1974 to 66.9 percent in 2015. In contrast, the percentage of stocks fished at biologically unsustainable levels increased from 10 percent in 1974 to 33.1 percent in 2015, with the largest increases in the late 1970s and 1980s.
In 2015, maximally sustainably fished stocks accounted for 59.9 percent and underfished stocks for 7.0 percent of the total assessed stocks (separated by the white line). The underfished stocks decreased continuously from 1974 to 2015, whereas the maximally sustainably fished stocks decreased from 1974 to 1989, and then increased to 59.9 percent in 2015.
In 2015, among the 16 major statistical areas, the Mediterranean and Black Sea (Area 37) had the highest percentage (62.2 percent) of unsustainable stocks, closely followed by the Southeast Pacific 61.5 percent (Area 87) and Southwest Atlantic 58.8 percent (Area 41). In contrast, the Eastern Central Pacific (Area 77), Northeast Pacific (Area 67), Northwest Pacific (Area 61), Western Central Pacific (Area 71) and Southwest Pacific (Area 81) had the lowest proportion (13 to 17 percent) of fish stocks at biologically unsustainable levels. Other areas varied between 21 and 43 percent in 2015.
Percentages of stocks fished at biologically sustainable and unsustainable levels by FAO Statistical Area, 2015Source: FAO (2018). The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018 - Meeting the sustainable development goals.
Nine Communities of Ocean Action
To catalyze and generate new voluntary commitments; and to facilitate collaboration and networking amongst different actors in support of SDG 14, the United Nations have launched nine thematic multi-stakeholder Communities of Ocean Action.
Each community is coordinated by designated focal points who work together with United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, Ambassador Peter Thomson, and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in carrying out the activities.