Myths About Marine Conservation Agreements
Many myths exist about the management of ocean and coastal environments, especially as they relate to Marine Conservation Agreements (MCAs). Managers, scholars, and conservationists alike often hold preconceived notions about what can be done with the lands, resources, and ecosystem services connected to the ocean and coastal waters. Some of these myths are put forward as “biblical fact,” some are based on hearsay, and some are rooted in specific experiences. Even so, standing myths are often counterproductive.
While we cannot address all of the myths within this toolkit, we have attempted to identify and dispel the most prevalent ones below.
- Myth 1: Everyone knows, You can’t Buy the Ocean.
- Myth 2: All lands and resources lying within the ocean and coastal waters are Publicly-Owned.
- Myth 3: Lands and resources lying within the ocean and coastal waters already have Existing Protection.
- Myth 4: Conservation is an Unproductive Use of ocean and coastal lands and resources.
- Myth 5: Using MCAs to protect the ocean and coastal biodiversity is a New Strategy.
- Myth 6: MCAs are too Small and Isolated.
- Myth 7: MCAs are Temporary and thus cannot be counted on to protect the ocean and coastal areas over the long-term.
- Myth 8: MCAs lead to Bad Conservation.
- Myth 9: It sets a Bad Precedent for private organizations to assume the responsibilities of land and resource owners, managers and users through MCAs.
- Myth 10: MCAs create Conflicts with existing rights held by native peoples, the public and private entities.
- Myth 11: MCAs should only be applied to the ocean and coastal areas Threatened by degradation or that are already degraded.
- Myth 12: MCAs are too Expensive for non-profit organizations to undertake.
- Myth 13: MCAs require Endowments to be successful.
- Myth 14: MCAs depend on Tourism Revenues to meet their financial needs.
- Myth 15: Enforcement is especially difficult given the terms and conditions of MCAs.
- Myth 16: MCAs distract from efforts to create formal Marine Protected Areas.
- Myth 17: MCAs lead to Disenfranchisement among land and resource owners, managers and users by limiting their access to resources and failing to develop sustainable forms of alternative development.
- Myth 18: MCAs Will Not Work in some countries, provinces or states.