The ocean and seas are of great value. They provide important benefits to people including food, oxygen, economic opportunities, recreation, and cultural value. However, heavy uses of the ocean are eroding these benefits, sometimes at alarming rates.

Marine protected areas (MPAs) can be a powerful tool to protect, and possibly restore, the ability of ecosystems to provide these benefits. Globally, there are thousands of MPAs, though their collective area is small. What have we learned from these protected places?

This booklet summarises the latest science about MPAs, emphasising the Mediterranean Sea.

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