MPAs are designated areas along and off the coast, within the three-mile limit of state waters, intended to protect critical marine habitats. There are three different levels of protection:
State Marine Reserves are off limits to all extractive activities, including fishing and harvesting (of shellfish, seaweed, etc.).
State Marine Parks allow recreational fishing, but don’t allow commercial extraction.
State Marine Conservation Areas allow some commercial and/or recreational extraction, determined on a case-by-case basis.
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