Organizations such as UNEP, WWF, ICRAN are helping to set up and provide more support to marine protected areas. There are ICRAN sites throughout the tropical world, operated through UNEP Regional Seas Agreements, which develop methods for sustainable management of coral reefs. Several Regional Seas also operate special protected areas for the conservation of these invaluable resources.

Marine protected areas are an important tool to help manage resource protection, sustainable development and tourism. Properly designed marine protected areas ban fishing from certain areas, but still allow fishermen to catch fish elsewhere within the reserve. In this way, they can serve as fish replenishment zones, helping to ensure continued sustainable fishing.

There are already quite a few marine protected areas around the world - and Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the biggest - but marine protected areas still cover less than 1% of the oceans - compared to 10% for land-based parks. One of the goals of WWF is to establish a network of well-managed marine protected areas covering at least ten per cent of the world's oceans.

Sadly, one of the biggest problems in the sea is that we can't stop things from being carried in the water. For a reserve to work we also have to stop pollution and sediments coming from the land.