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Full and individual MPA shapefiles are available for download from the World Database of Protected Areas at We are working on a way to make our analysis and added content available soon.

If you are in need of a subset of MPAtlas data or any custom analysis beyond what is listed here, please contact us with your request, and we will do what we can to help. We may have maps not shown here that could be reporposed. If a custom map is needed, we can create one upon request for an agreed upon contract rate. Please contact to work out details.


At, we’ve taken the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) data as a starting point and examined certain regions in depth, replacing WDPA records with national or regional databases that are more up-to-date or provide greater detail (e.g., using the NOAA MPA Center inventory for US sites) and performing additional corrections based on original research.

Our data differs from other databases due to the way we require full implementation prior to considering an MPA in our numbers. We consider sites that have been formally designated but currently unimplemented and proposed sites seperately so that our numbers reflect as accurately as possible the actual amount of protection "on the water." We also report on highly protected marine protected areas as a subset of the total coverage, where at least some of the MPA prohibits extraction of resources through fishing, mining and resource exploration, as we believe the level of marine protection we need globally needs to mitigate direct human impacts as much as possible.

Read more about our data and how we calculate our numbers.

Please cite MPAtlas as:

Online:  Marine Conservation Institute (year), MPAtlas [On-line]. Seattle, WA. Available at: [Accessed (please insert date of download dd/mm/yyyy)].

Database: Marine Conservation Institute. (year). MPAtlas. Seattle, WA.  [Accessed (please insert date of download dd/mm/yyyy)].