top of page


faqs image.jpg
  • Why do we need Shark & Ray Sanctuaries?
    Given the life-history characteristics of most sharks and rays (slow-growing, late to mature, and their dependence on critical and essential habitats for various life-history stages), they are very vulnerable to pressure from fishing and habitat destruction. Despite many species not being targeted by fisheries, their incidental capture as bycatch has a substantial impact on their abundance and populations, and indiscriminate activities such as trawling threaten the habitat that they depend on. One of the most effective measures to conserve shark and ray populations is within highly protected areas, especially no-take sanctuary areas, potentially within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) network.
  • What is a Marine Protected Area (MPA)?
    An MPA is a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long‐term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.
  • What is an OECM?
    It stands for ‘Other Effective area-based Conservation Measure’ and is a geographically defined area other than a Protected Area that conserves biodiversity. These areas are governed and managed in ways that achieve positive and sustained long-term protection of biodiversity, but also result in cultural, spiritual, socio–economic, and other locally relevant benefits. For OECMS to be effective measures that support a country’s area-based conservation, they not only need to be aligned with existing Protected Areas, but also integrated with the current community of practice concerning the recognition of unprotected conservation areas. OECMs offer us a means to fill in the gaps of our protected area networks, both on land and in the ocean, by incorporating areas important for biodiversity conservation that fall outside of the formal protected area estate.
  • OECMs vs MPAs
    OECMs by their definition are inherently more flexible and inclusive than Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Its process of establishment allows for stakeholders that have previously been excluded from conservation to protect biodiversity while still sustainably using their resources. OECMs are not intended to replace Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) but rather complement them by protecting areas outside of formal MPAs that house key biodiversity and ecosystem processes. OECMS can assist in supporting and enhancing our formal MPA network and strengthening the protection of our marine environment.
  • What is an ISRA?
    Important Shark and Ray Areas (ISRA) is an expert-driven approach that identifies places that are important for protecting shark and ray species. These can include areas where sharks and rays aggregate, breed, or feed, which are critical for their survival. This method of identifying areas critical for the survival of a group of species, while guiding conservation, is well established, such as Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs).
bottom of page