How will we manage the MPA?

achievING our objectives

Common octopus - Jude Brown
Common octopus - Jude Brown

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This section describes the actions we will take to achieve the MPA’s objectives

Boatswainbird Island - Nicola Weber
Boatswainbird Island - Nicola Weber

This involves not only preventing or restricting damaging activities that threaten the MPA but also restoring, improving, researching and sharing Ascension’s amazing marine environment.

The MPA is going to be around forever and it will be a long journey to achieve everything we want. In the first five years covered by this plan, we have focused on the actions that will achieve the greatest positive change to the MPA within our resources (more detail of how we determined this is given in the MPA Showing our Workings document). This means there are no actions linked to substantial threats such as ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures because we simply don’t have the management tools to address them. It also means ambitious aspirations to develop Ascension as a global science hub will have to be achieved in stages and the futuristic submarine laboratory complex will have to wait until the next phase.

Green turtle on Pan Am Beach - Matt Wall

The designation of the MPA was underpinned by sound science and this evidence-based approach is carried forward into the management of the site. Where possible we have designed management actions based on existing data and experience of what will be effective. However, we know we don’t have all the answers from the start so targets, monitoring and refinement of our management will be essential. How we will do this is described in the Monitoring and Evaluation section.

The actions are arranged so that they can be filtered to show those that contribute to achieving different strategic or operational objectives, the ones that counter specific threats to the MPA and those actions that help protect particular species and habitats. Alternatively, you can choose to see them all and realise how busy we will be for the next five years.

Action table

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Operational objective

Description

Identify the presence of any genetic sub-populations of charismatic or exploited species within the MPA. Update the Wildlife Protection Ordinance and feed into development of Inshore Fisheries legislation to include genetically-distinct populations

Outcomes

Management and protection at the population level through inclusion of genetically-distinct populations in the WPO and Inshore Fisheries Ordinance

Targets

Year 1: Identify potential research partners.

Year 5: Evidence for inclusion of separate sub-populations of one species considered.

Threats addressed

Commercial fishing outside the MPA

Poorly-managed recreational fishing

Poorly-managed sports fishing

Strategic objectives delivered
  1. To conserve Ascension Island’s marine biodiversity, habitats and ecological functions for long-term ecosystem health
Operational objectives delivered

1f. No loss of genetically distinct sub-populations from inshore or offshore areas

Habitats and species protected

Bigeye tuna, Yellowfin tuna, Rock hind grouper

Priority

Medium