Egypt has sought to protect its natural resources and marine biodiversity by establishing a network of six MPAs that are generally located in the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea; most of them include interconnected marine and terrestrial sectors based on conserving coral reefs and accompanying systems. We assessed the present status of MPA networks that showed a set of important results manifested in some strengths (i.e. proper selection according to specific criteria, management plans, etc.), and also some weaknesses (i.e. a relatively small protected proportion of the Egyptian marine territorial waters, significant pressures mainly by tourism activities, etc.). Finally, some recommendations are proposed from this work (i.e. incorporate more habitats that are not well represented in the network, especially on the Mediterranean Sea; establishing a touristic carrying capacity of each area; etc.) to improve the current situation.
Marine reserves, Fishing, Tourism, Conservation, Sustainable development, Egypt
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