Welcome to Greenpeace Canada’s Ocean Sanctuaries Newsletter hub. On this site we will share relevant news, scientific literature and industry action relating to the protection of marine ecosystems. 

Marine reserves, or ocean sanctuaries, are no-take, fully protected areas. Greenpeace is campaigning for the establishment of a global network of marine reserves covering 40 per cent of the world’s oceans. In addition to providing information about the state of play in researching and establishing marine reserves, we will offer ways that your company can be part of the ocean sanctuaries solution. 

For more information about why ocean sanctuaries are important, click here.

To sign up to receive the ocean sanctuaries newsletter, or to recommend fellow companies to join the dialogue, send an email to


Greenpeace is working to protect the Arctic. A new investigative report documents the expansion of bottom-trawlers into an ecologically and biologically significant area around Svalbard in the northern Barents Sea, and the consumer brands whose suppliers source from this high conservation value area. Read the report and find out more below.

October 2014 video spotlight here.

Recently in the news

The latest science

Presented below is a list of relevant scientific studies and reports that focus on marine reserves, ecosystem-based management and ocean protection and management more broadly. Click on the titles to be directed to a page where you can access or purchase the paper. “OA” means the paper can be downloaded for free.


OA: Boon, P. Ya & Beger, M. 2016. The effect of contrasting threat mitigation objectives on spatial conservation priorities. Marine Policy 68, pp 23 - 29.

De Santo, E. M. 2016. Assessing public “participation” in environmental decision-making: Lessons learned from the UK Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) site selection process. Marine Policy 64, pp 91 - 101.

OA: Esteban, N., Laloë, J.-O., Mortimer, J. A., Guzman, A. N. & Hays, G. C. 2016. Male hatchling production in sea turtles from one of the world’s largest marine protected areas, the Chagos Archipelago. Scientific Reports 6, 20339.

OA: Fragkopoulou, E. 2016. A global assessment of the effectiveness of different protection levels in Marine Protected Areas of tropical waters following a new categorization (Masters thesis). University of the Algarve, Masters in Marine Biology.

OA: Grifman, P., McCreary, S. & Cowart, M. 2016. A Study of the Stakeholder Experience in Developing Marine Protected Areas in Southern California. University of Southern California Sea Grant Program and CONCUR, Inc.

OA: O’Leary, Bethan C., et al. 2016. Effective coverage targets for ocean protection. Conservation Letters 9 (1), pp. 1 -78.

Sato, C. 2016. The Proliferation of Marine Protected Areas Under International Law, European Union Law and Japanese Law. Contemporary Issues in Environmental Law 5, pp 169 - 184.  


OA: Addison, P. F. E., Flander, L. B. & Cook, C. N. 2015. Are we missing the boat? Current uses of long-term biological monitoring data in the evaluation and management of marine protected areas. Journal of Environmental Management 149, pp 148 - 156.

OA: Advani, S., Rix, L. N., Aherne, D. M., Alwany, M. A. & Bailey, D. M. 2015. Distance from a Fishing Community Explains Fish Abundance in a No-Take Zone with Weak Compliance. PLOS ONE 10, e0126098.

OA: Ahmadia, G. N. et al. 2015. Integrating impact evaluation in the design and implementation of monitoring marine protected areas. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 370 (1681).

OA: Alexander, S. Matthew. 2015.The ties that bind: Connections, patterns, and possibilities for marine protected areas (Doctoral dissertation). University of Waterloo.

Andrello, M., Mouillot, D., Somot, S., Thuiller, W. & Manel, S. 2015. Additive effects of climate change on connectivity between marine protected areas and larval supply to fished areas. Diversity and Distributions 21 (2), pp 139 - 150.

OA: Arias, A., Cinner, J. E., Jones, R. E. & Pressey, R. L. 2015. Levels and drivers of fishers’ compliance with marine protected areas. Ecology and Society 20 (4).

OA: Bakke, T. 2015. Marine protected areas in Norway: A study of local participation in the establishment of Jomfruland National Park (Master’s thesis). Norwegian University of Life Sciences, MSc.

OA: Ban, N. C., Evans, L. S., Nenadovic, M. & Schoon, M. 2015. Interplay of multiple goods, ecosystem services, and property rights in large social-ecological marine protected areas. Ecology and Society 20 (4).

Batista, M. I. et al. 2015. Assessment of catches, landings and fishing effort as useful tools for MPA management. Fisheries Research 172, pp 197 - 208.

Black, B. D., Adams, A. J. & Bergh, C. 2015. Mapping of stakeholder activities and habitats to inform conservation planning for a national marine sanctuary. Environmental Biology of Fishes 98 (11), pp 2213 - 2221.

OA: Boonzaier, L. & Pauly, D. 2015. Marine protection targets: an updated assessment of global progress. Oryx 50 (1), pp 27 - 35.

OA: Brink, Pten, Mutafoglu, K., Newman, S., Kettunen, M. & Russi, D. 2015. Measuring the benefits of marine protected areas in the context of EU’s Natura 2000 network - scoping the methodology. IEEP.

Cabral, R. B., Mamauag, S. S. & Aliño, P. M. 2015. Designing a marine protected areas network in a data-limited situation. Marine Policy 59, pp 64 - 76.

Cordonnery, L. & Kriwoken, L. 2015. Advocating a Larger Role for Environmental Nongovernment Organizations in Developing a Network for Marine Protected Areas in the Southern Ocean. Ocean Development & International Law 46 (3), pp 188 - 207.

Costello, M. J. & Ballantine, B. 2015. Biodiversity conservation should focus on no-take Marine Reserves. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 30, pp 507 - 509.

OA: Crabbe, M. James C. 2015. How Effective are Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) for Coral Reefs? Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development 5 (1).

OA: D’Agostini, A., Gherardi, D. Francisco & Pezzi, L. Ponzi. 2015. Connectivity of Marine Protected Areas and Its Relation with Total Kinetic Energy. PLOS ONE 10 (10).

OA: da Silva, I. Marques, Hill, N. , Shimadzu, H., Soares, A. M. V. M. & Dornelas, M. 2015. Spillover Effects of a Community-Managed Marine Reserve. PLOS ONE 10 (4), e0111774.

OA: Di Minin, E. & Toivonen, T. 2015. Global Protected Area Expansion: Creating More than Paper Parks. BioScience 65 (7), pp 637-638.

OA: De Leo, G. A. & Micheli, F. 2015. The good, the bad and the ugly of marine reserves for fishery yields. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 370 (1681).

OA: Douvere, F. 2015. Managing effectively the world’s most iconic Marine Protected Areas: A Best Practice Guide. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. 122 pp.

OA: Dunphy-Daly, M. Mná. 2015. A meta-analysis of the value of marine protected areas for pelagic apex predators (Doctoral dissertation). Duke University, Marine Science and Conservation PhD, 150 pp.

Evans, J. L., Peckett, F. & Howell, K. L. 2015. Combined application of biophysical habitat mapping and systematic conservation planning to assess efficiency and representativeness of the existing High Seas MPA network in the Northeast Atlantic. ICES Journal of Marine Science 72 (5), pp 1483-1479.

OA: Fernández-Chacón, A., Moland, E., Espeland, S. Heiberg & Olsen, E. Moland. 2015. Demographic effects of full vs. partial protection from harvesting: inference from an empirical before-after control-impact study on Atlantic cod. Journal of Applied Ecology 52 (5), pp 1206 - 1215.

OA: FAO. 2015. Report of the Regional Workshop on Marine Protected Areas as a Tool for Responsible Fisheries and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Caribbean. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report 1096. 35 pp.

OA: Fulton, E. A. et al. 2015. Modelling marine protected areas: insights and hurdles. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 370.

Geldmann, J. et al. 2015. Changes in protected area management effectiveness over time: A global analysis. Biological Conservation 191 (1681), pp 692 - 699.

OA: Gruby, R. L., Gray, N. J., Campbell, L. M. & Acton, L. 2015. Toward a Social Science Research Agenda for Large Marine Protected Areas. Conservation Letters. doi: 10.1111/conl.12194

OA: Gurney, G. G., Pressey, R. L., Cinner, J. E., Pollnac, R. & Campbell, S. J. 2015. Integrated conservation and development: evaluating a community-based marine protected area project for equality of socioeconomic impacts. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 370 (1681).

Howarth, L. M., Roberts, C. M., Hawkins, J. P., Steadman, D. J. & Beukers-Stewart, B. D. 2015. Effects of ecosystem protection on scallop populations within a community-led temperate marine reserve. Marine Biology 162 (4), pp 823 - 840.

OA: Jonsson, P. R., Jacobi, M. Nilsson & Moksnes, P.-O. 2015. How to select networks of marine protected areas for multiple species with different dispersal strategies. Diversity and Distributions 22 (2), pp 161 - 173.

OA: Juffe-Bignoli, D., MacSharry, B., Bingham, H., Deguignet, M. & Kingston, N. 2015. World Database on Protected Areas User Manual 1.0. UNEP-WCMC.

OA: Klein, C. J. et al. 2015. Shortfalls in the global protected area network at representing marine biodiversity. Scientific Reports 5, 17539.

OA: Lara, M. Mata. 2015 The Socio-Eco-Political Tangle Behind MPAs. The Challenge of Defining Success. Master's thesis.

OA: Lawrence, E. et al. 2015. Mapping Habitats and Developing Baselines in Offshore Marine Reserves with Little Prior Knowledge: A Critical Evaluation of a New Approach. PLOS ONE 10, e0141051.

Leenhardt, P., Low, N., Pascal, N., Micheli, F. & Claudet, J. 2015.The Role of Marine Protected Areas in Providing Ecosystem Services. Aquatic Functional Biodiversity: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective 10 (10), pp 211 - 239.

Martin, C. L., Momtaz, S., Jordan, A. & Moltschaniwskyj, N. A. 2015. An assessment of the effectiveness of in-situ signage in multiple-use marine protected areas in providing information to different recreational users.Marine Policy 56, 78 - 85.

Metcalfe, K., Vaughan, G., Vaz, S. & Smith, R. J. 2015. Spatial, socio-economic, and ecological implications of incorporating minimum size constraints in marine protected area network design. Conservation Biology.

Mills, M. et al. 2015. Real-world progress in overcoming the challenges of adaptive spatial planning in marine protected areas. Biological Conservation 181, 54 - 63.

OA: Oldekop, J. A., Holmes, G., Harris, W. E. & Evans, K. L. A global assessment of the social and conservation outcomes of protected areas. Conservation Biology (In Press).

OA: Pressey, R. L., Visconti, P. & Ferraro, P. J. 2015. Making parks make a difference: poor alignment of policy, planning and management with protected-area impact, and ways forward. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 370.

OA: Przeslawski, R. et al. 2015. Implications of Sponge Biodiversity Patterns for the Management of a Marine Reserve in Northern Australia. PLOS ONE 10 (11), e0141813.

Read, A. D., West, R. J. & Kelaher, B. P. 2015. Using compliance data to improve marine protected area management. Marine Policy 60, 119 - 127.

Robb, C. K., Bodtker, K. M. & Wright, K. 2015. Marine Protected Areas in the Canadian Pacific: Do They Fulfill Network Criteria? Coastal Management 43 (3), pp 253 - 269.

OA: Rodríguez-Rodríguez, D. 2015. Mediterranean MPA Monitoring. What is going on in my MPA? MedPAN. Marseille, France.

Russ, G. R., Miller, K. I., Rizzari, J. R. & Alcala, A. C. 2015. Long-term no-take marine reserve and benthic habitat effects on coral reef fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series 529, 233 - 248.

Sandström, A., Bodin, Ö. & Crona, B. 2015. Network Governance from the top – The case of ecosystem-based coastal and marine management. Marine Policy 55, 57 - 63.

Scianna, C., Niccolini, F., Gaines, S. D. & Guidetti, P. 2015. ‘Organization Science’: A new prospective to assess marine protected areas effectiveness. Ocean & Coastal Management 116, 443 - 448.

Sciberras, M. et al. 2015. Evaluating the relative conservation value of fully and partially protected marine areas. Fish and Fisheries 16, 58 - 77.

OA: Shugart-Schmidt, K. L. P. et al. 2015. SeaStates G20 2014: How much of the seas are G20 nations really protecting? Ocean & Coastal Management 115, pp 25 - 30.

OA: Starr, R. M. et al. 2015. Variation in Responses of Fishes across Multiple Reserves within a Network of Marine Protected Areas in Temperate Waters. PLOS ONE 10, e0118502.

Sutcliffe, P. R., Klein, C. J., Pitcher, C. R. & Possingham, H. P. 2015. The effectiveness of marine reserve systems constructed using different surrogates of biodiversity. Conservation Biology 29, 657 - 667.

Voyer, M. & Gladstone, W. 2015. Human considerations in the use of marine protected areas for biodiversity conservation. Australian Zoologist.

Watson, G. J., Murray, J. M., Schaefer, M. & A. Bonner. 2015. Successful local marine conservation requires appropriate educational methods and adequate enforcement. Marine Policy 52, 59 - 67.

Worboys, Graeme, L. et al. 2015. Protected Area Governance and Management. Australian National University.

OA: Young, M. & Carr, M. 2015. Assessment of Habitat Representation across a Network of Marine Protected Areas with Implications for the Spatial Design of Monitoring. PLOS ONE 10, e0116200.

OA: Zarate-Barrera, T. G. & Maldonado, J. H. 2015. Valuing Blue Carbon: Carbon Sequestration Benefits Provided by the Marine Protected Areas in Colombia. PLOS ONE 10, e0126627.


Ballantine, Bill. 2014. Fifty years on: Lessons from marine reserves in New Zealand and principles for a worldwide network. Biological Conservation 176, 297-30

Cinner, Joshua E., Daw, Tim, Huchery, Cindy et al. 2014. Winners and Losers in Marine Conservation: Fishers' Displacement and Livelihood Benefits from Marine Reserves. Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal 27:9, 994-1005

CPAWS. 2014. Dare To Be Deep: Charting Canada’s Course to 2020.

OA: Cormier-Salem, M.-C. 2014. Participatory governance of Marine Protected Areas: a political challenge, an ethical imperative, different trajectories. S.A.P.I.EN.S 7 (2).

Costello, Mark J. 2014. Long live Marine Reserves: A review of experiences and benefits. Biological Conservation 176, 289-296  

Edgar, Graham J., Stuart-Smith, Rick D. et al. 2014. Global conservation outcomes depend on marine protected areas with five key features. Nature 506, 216-228

Green, Alison L, Fernandes, Leanne, Almany, Glenn et al. 2014.Designing Marine Reserves for Fisheries Management, Biodiversity Conservation, and Climate Change Adaptation. Coastal Management 42:2  

Grüss, A. 2014. Modelling the impacts of marine protected areas for mobile exploited fish populations and their fisheries: what we recently learnt and where we should be going. Aquatic Living Resources 27(3-4), pp 107 - 133.

OA: Pereira, M. Isabel San. 2014Planning and management of Marine Protected Areas: Methodological approaches to cope with data scarcity. Universidade de Lisboa.

Perry, Elizabeth E., Needham, Mark D., Cramer, Lori A. and Randall S. Rosenberger. 2014. Coastal resident knowledge of new marine reserves in Oregon: The impact of proximity and attachment. Ocean & Coastal Management 95, 107-116   

Rogers, A.D., Sumaila, U.R., Hussain, S.S. and C. Baulcomb. 2014.The High Seas and Us: Understanding the Value of High-Seas Ecosystems. Global Ocean Commission.  

Yamazaki, Satoshi, Grafton, Quentin R., Kompas, Tom and Sarah Jennings. 2014. Biomass management targets and the conservation and economic benefits of marine reserves. Fish and Fisheries 15, 196-208


Coleman, M.A., Palmer-Brodie, A. and B.P. Kelaher. 2013. Conservation benefits of a network of marine reserves and partially protected areas. Biological Conservation 167, 257-264

Wing, S. R. and L. Jack. 2013. Marine reserve networks conserve biodiversity by stabilizing communities and maintaining food web structure. Ecosphere 4(11):135.

How your company can support ocean sanctuaries

Getting involved in broader conservation initiatives and being vocal about your efforts can be a great way to help bring your customers along on your sustainability journey, and also raise the level of overall public awareness about the need and support for protecting our oceans. It can also enable your company to create new and meaningful relationships with communities and groups. Presented below are some ways to start to get involved.

  1. Make a public statement supporting the creation of marine reserves and vow not to source seafood from proposed areas including the Ross Sea, the high seas areas of the Western and Central Pacific ocean known as the Pacific Commons, the Bering Sea and the Arctic.

    • A commitment can be made as part of your company’s sustainable seafood sourcing policy or separately. 
    • The statement should declare support for the creation of a network of marine reserves both nationally and internationally, covering 40 per cent of our oceans
    • The statement should also exclude seafood originating from areas that are in the process of being created through national or international means; from areas identified by science as being crucial for protecting ecologically and biologically significant areas; or from areas being championed by a coastal community or nation.
    • The statement must be backed by a third party auditing scheme that is in place for all seafood sourcing to ensure products can be traced back to the area of catch. 
  2. Do you source cod or other fish from the Barents Sea? Are you aware that trawl fisheries are moving into an ecologically and biologically sensitive area previously covered by ice where the Barents Sea meets the Arctic ocean, north of Svalbard? Help support Arctic protection and stop the expansion of the fishery into fragile habitat. Phase out suppliers that continue to engage in fishing operations in those areas or source fish and fish products from those areas, support the call for the Norwegian government and relevant management bodies to protect the area, and sign the Arctic Declaration at http://www.arcticdeclaration.org/.

Do you source cod or other fish from the Barents Sea? Are you aware that trawl fisheries are moving into an ecologically and biologically sensitive area previously covered by ice where the Barents Sea meets the Arctic ocean, north of Svalbard? Help support Arctic protection and stop the expansion of the fishery into fragile habitat. Phase out suppliers that continue to engage in fishing operations in those areas or source fish and fish products from those areas, support the call for the Norwegian government and relevant management bodies to protect the area, and sign the Arctic Declaration at http://www.arcticdeclaration.orgLearn more here