Biophysically special, unique marine areas of Tonga
Thirty-eight special and/or unique marine areas have been described for Tonga by national experts in a workshop and described in a report released in 2017. This findings will inform decisions in marine resource management including decisions about where to locate different types of Ocean Management Areas in Tonga’s future Ocean Plan.
The areas were described, justified and scored to a maximum of “3” according to each of four criteria: geographic explicitness (how well defined are the boundaries?), justification (what are the number and detail about the reasons for this site’s identification), information sources (how many and how reliable are these sources?) and legal obligations associated with each site. Each site was described in as much detail as the available information sources allowed, and given a score out of 12. Sites were divided into large-scale sites and finer-scale sites, and the latter were divided into island groups.