Protected Areas

Protected areas are recognized geographical locations that receive protection due to their ecological, spiritual, cultural or scientific value.

 The world’s coastal landscapes, habitats and historical landmarks are important for providing people with a sense of place and for their spiritual and aesthetic value, but only a small portion of them currently have protection status.

Archeological Protected Areas
Once an archeological site is discovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority, it is declared and protected by law. Trawling activities involves dragging equipment on the seabed, thus damaging the archeological sites. Trawl fishermen are not prevented from trawling in areas declared as archeological sites, and may cause considerable damage. This is a worldwide problem. 

How Was It Measured?
A GIS map of all declared antiquity sites was provided by the Israel Antiquities Authority. A qualitative trawling lane mapping3 enabled categorization of the archeological sites into two groups: those within trawling lanes (thus not protected) and those outside trawling lanes (protected).
 Beaches of Special Public Interest
Israel has a short stretch of coast — 197 km long, of which only 15 km are authorized public beachesThe "Protection of the Coastal Environment Law" was passed in Israel in 2004. This law states that beaches are public owned, and building within 100 m of the coastline is prohibited. Projects that were authorized before 2004 have caused public disputes over their development.  These projects, as well as additional conflicts regarding the coastal environment have caused conservation activists to demonstrate and take legal action in order to serve the public interest.

How Was It Measured?
A log of all coastal disputes was received from "Adam Teva V’din- NGO, the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, with initiation dates and a qualitative description of the success in maintaining the beach open to the public. Successful=1, mostly successful= 0.75, partially successful=0.5, failure=0.  A spatial assessment of the size of beach disputed was assigned for each project: from 50 m (beach shop) to 2000 m (marina), with a 100m inland buffer area. 
(Success *Area disputed)/Area disputed gave the measure of maintaining special beaches.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are defined areas in the ocean that are designated for conservation as part of an ecosystem-based management (EBM) approach to protecting marine resources.

MPAs are demarcated by law, and can include intertidal, sub-tidal, and pelagic environments. Within these environments, governance systems are implemented to protect the relevant body of water, bottom, marine/terrestrial flora and fauna and notable historical and cultural features.

There are many different types of MPAs, with protection measures that range from multiple-use (i.e. allowing some types of fishing, or certain recreational activities) to ‘no-take zones’ (i.e. no extractive activities such as fishing, mining, drilling are allowed). Some MPAs restrict certain areas to one specific use (e.g. local fishing), according to the overall needs of a particular area.

How Was It Measured?
The Ocean Health Index measures MPAs in two ways. The percent of the total EEZ area of each country that is designated for MPAs was measured for the Wild-Caught Fisheries sub-goal of Food Provision, Iconic Species sub-goal of Sense of Place, and both sub-goals of Biodiversity. For Artisanal Fishing Opportunities, the Index measured the percentage of area within 3 nautical miles (nmi) offshore that is designated as an MPA. The rationale for using a narrower area is that nearshore habitats and species are the most important ecosystems to protect in order to achieve these goals, while open ocean protected areas would do little to sustain them.

For the Lasting Special Places sub-goal of Sense of Place, the Index measured the percentage of area within 3 nmi offshore that is designated as an MPA, plus the percentage of coastal area within a 100 m-wide strip parallel to the shore that has protected status. In each instance, the Index utilized data from the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority (2013).