Signed copies available from Erich Hoyt Books.

£39.95 / $69.95 [ISBN: 1-84407-064-6]

Fully revised and expanded 2nd edition, paperback, 477 pages, 20 colour plates, 100+ maps, figures, tables & boxes, 10 case studies, bibliog., index, 8 ¾” x 11″ (22 × 28 cm). Hardcover edition, £95 / $160.00.

Published Sept 2011 by Taylor & Francis/ Routledge (Earthscan), London and New York, in association with WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

A few copies are still available at discount from (2020).

Worldwide in coverage, this 477-page book reveals the inside story on existing and planned marine protected areas (MPAs), marine national parks and sanctuaries around the world. It is designed to be a key resource for scientists, research institutions, students, wildlife conservation agencies, MPA managers, and anyone who cares about cetaceans and the special places where they live. Since most of the world’s MPAs promote whale and dolphin watching and responsible marine ecotourism, the book is also being used by keen cetacean watchers to find some of the best places to watch the 87 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises in 125 countries and territories around the world.

Along with the book, WDCS has produced a stunning A0 or A1-size poster map showing the some 740 cetacean MPAs and sanctuaries worldwide, with illustrations by Pieter Folkens. This full colour poster was designed and produced by Lesley Frampton, Calvin Frampton and Erich Hoyt. For information about obtaining a copy of this special map-poster, click here. To download a copy of the map in high resolution (21 MB file), click on the link: MPAs4Whales_WorldMap_Poster_2011.pdf To order the book, see the bottom of this page.

Selected Reviews

The influential journal CHOICE in the US has selected Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises as one of the Outstanding Academic books of 2012 (Choice, Feb 2013 issue) declaring this book is “a critical reference for anyone entering the debate about cetacean conservation or seeking to promote marine protected areas for cetaceans. Summing Up:  Essential. All academic, general, and professional audiences.” — Choice

“In this richly updated and comprehensive volume, Erich Hoyt combines a sense of urgency about the need for action with a clear message of hope.  Protecting areas in the sea to give marine mammals a better chance for survival benefits all life on Earth, including humans. As never before, the connections are clear.  Never again will there be a better time to act for the sake of cetaceans – and primates, too.” —  Sylvia A. Earle, oceanographer, National Geographic explorer-in-residence, Mission Blue founder

“Erich Hoyt’s book provides comprehensive and irreplaceable insight into marine protected areas dedicated to marine mammals — these animals that are so close and dear to us. It shows us how to harmonize mankind and the sea more effectively to enable human development and nature preservation to progress side by side at a similar pace.” — H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco

“A key question asked by publishers when a second edition of a book is up for discussion is whether buyers of the first edition will feel compelled to purchase the second. In this case the answer must be yes: much has been learned in the past few years, many new MPAs installed. For example, numerous MPAs and sanctuaries originally listed as ‘proposed’ are now ‘established’, and many previously unmentioned areas are now under discussion or on the ‘possible candidates’ list. Comparing the two editions on a page-by-page basis is nearly impossible – the shifts and changes are too great. In a word, the old edition simply won’t do. Statistically, the new edition has significantly more figures, tables and boxes. The number and quality of the color plates has also been improved considerably. This extraordinary volume continues to be the ‘bible’ of cetacean habitat conservation efforts and deserves its ‘world handbook’ subtitle.” — Michael Stachowitsch, Marine Ecology (2012)

Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises is an especially timely book. The creation of MPAs is hot right now. While reading about the hundreds of existing MPAs summarized in the book and appreciating the dynamic nature of marine conservation, I was left in awe of the impossibility of Hoyt’s task. Nevertheless, he is successful in producing a volume that is authoritative, comprehensive, and up-to-date. The first part functions well as both a text for background reading and as a reference for specific information. The second part and the bulk of the book…is a worldwide review of those MPAs that include cetaceans. I recommend this book to everyone interested in marine mammals and/or marine conservation. Those researchers actively involved with MPAs will find it indispensable.” — Robert Nawojchik, Aquatic Mammals 2005, 31(4): 481-482.

“The world’s oceans face numerous threats and there is strong scientific consensus that marine protected areas are a key solution. This book is a valuable contribution to understanding the successes, opportunities and challenges we face as we strive to conserve the oceans, the creatures that live in them and the important role they play in supporting human health, food and economies.” – David Suzuki

“A truly impressive piece of work…easy to browse, authoritative and up to date. It is the definitive reference of the current extent of cetacean ecosystems-based management and something I can see myself returning to on a regular basis over the next few years. It should also be of value to professionals and students with interests in wider marine management issues.” — Ben Wilson, Environmental Conservation 2005, 32(3): 283-284.

“ Erich Hoyt, a renowned conservationist, exhibits a strong passion for research and writing which is evident in his publication of 18 books and over 500 articles, reports, and book chapters. From the North American Midwest to a Victorian seaside town in Scotland, Hoyt has led a full suite of conservation projects and has established himself as a lead proponent of sustainable ecotourism, habitat protection, and ecosystem-based management for marine mammals. His plethora of writing samples has been used as reference guides for marine mammal researchers, conservationists, and enthusiasts throughout the world. Time and again, he has succeeded in conducting comprehensive reviews and summarizing a wealth of information in a user-friendly and engaging format. His latest book, an update to the first edition about marine protected areas for whales, dolphins, and porpoises (Hoyt, 2005), is no exception….I strongly support this book as an invaluable addition to the library of any marine mammal manager and conservationist as well as regulators, industry leaders, and decisionmakers. This book was clearly written for a scientific/technical audience and not necessarily for the layperson due to the technical nature of the content and the lack of personal stories, anecdotes, and more photos and attractive illustrations. Hoyt writes with an underlying sense of urgency but also with hope and a plan that can be put into action. Fortunately, the reader is not left with an overwhelming feeling of despair over the long road ahead for cetacean MPAs and the immense amount of work left for researchers, managers, and stakeholders to effectively protect cetacean habitat. Instead, we are left with a better understanding of where we currently stand, where we need to go, and how to go about it. Hoyt has given us an MPA roadmap complete with specific tools and checklists to help us along the way. — Amy D. Whitt, Aquatic Mammals 2012, 38(2), 224-226, DOI 10.1578/AM.38.2.2012.224

“After many years of research, Erich Hoyt has yet again produced a unique and essential book for anybody interested in the conservation and protection of cetaceans…This will become the definitive source on MPAs for cetaceans for many years to come and will influence the design and management of this important and rapidly developing conservation tool. I strongly recommend it to everybody interested in whale and dolphin conservation.” — Simon Berrow, FINS 2(1) and Biology and Environment, Proc. Royal Irish Academy

“Drawing on a vast knowledge of the world’s whales, Hoyt cuts a clear path through the labyrinth of legislation involved in marine protected areas (MPAs) to create a comprehensive resource for all involved in marine conservation. For the first time, those involved in creating protected areas can gain a global perspective on their local work. It facilitates the sharing of ideas, reveals the glaring gaps and is a call to action. Hoyt transmits an urgency to get on with the task in hand. He sees all MPAs as works in progress with the capacity to improve and change. This book will go a long way towards its aims of promoting the creation of the best possible MPAs for cetaceans. Anyone sharing that aim will find it an invaluable contribution to marine conservation.” — Anna Levin, BBC Wildlife, in “The best new reads” (leading review)

“The definitive account of the status and protection of cetaceans – a well-written and interesting work on an important subject, accessible to both experts and general readers.” — Prof. Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University, twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize; author The Diversity of Life, On Human Nature, Consilience

“In this excellent and definitive book, the author makes clear that Marine Protected Areas, even in the earliest stages of full evaluation, offer a realistic and informed approach to immediate and future marine conservation. This book cuts through the multiplicity of labels attached to areas of protection for marine life and lays bare the precise meaning of each. This is an exhaustively researched, fascinating, thought-provoking and hugely useful book. It is both reference and reading material in one. For those involved in the conservation of cetaceans it must already be a compulsory handbook and for the lay reader it is a revealing and readable account of the considerable progress of our conservation experts and of the huge task still ahead. A massive achievement marking a milestone in marine protection.” Overall Rating: ***** (5 stars) — Rachel Saward,

“Multiple strategies are needed to reverse the decline of whales and dolphins, and one of these is creating protected areas for them. Renowned writer and leading authority on whale watching Erich Hoyt takes us on a fascinating journey across the complex and uncharted world of protected areas for cetaceans. This highly informative book will become a source of inspiration and understanding for the decision-maker as well as for the lay person, and an exhaustive repository of information and references for the specialist.” — Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, Tethys Research Institute and Deputy chairman, IUCN/SSC Cetacean Specialist Group

“One of the leading scientists on sea mammals Erich Hoyt has just published Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. Worldwide in coverage, the 520-page book reveals the inside story on more than 500 existing and planned MPAs, national parks and sanctuaries….a key resource for scientists, research institutions, students, wildlife conservation agencies, MPA managers and anyone who cares about cetaceans and the special places where they live.” — Chemistry and Life XXI Century (Moscow)

“Le premier tour du monde, détaillé et informé, des zones marines protégées, les meilleurs endroits où observer 84 espèces de baleines et dauphins.” — Sciences et Avenir (Paris)

“For many years, Erich Hoyt has been a leader amongst the conservation community….His award-winning books, which cover topics from ants to whales, act as sign-posts showing the way for the environmentalists of our age. His marine conservation work has focused mainly on whales, including evaluations of whale watching. Here, however, as the title tells us, he takes an in-depth look at marine protected areas. These MPAs have become a central theme of modern marine conservation efforts and a critical look at them is more than timely. He examines the guiding concepts in details and also provides details of the relevant MPAs in each region of the world. It is clear that considerable research has gone into what is presented making this a reference book of significant merit. It is a book for everyone with a serious interest in marine conservation and/or whales and dolphins and, once again, Hoyt has put in place a seminal work that will be widely cited and quoted for many years to come.” Overall rating, ***** (five stars) — Mark Simmonds, reviewing on

“Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises is the definitive handbook on this pressing issue [of marine habitat protection] and the first to bridge the gap between the disciplines of marine-protected areas and cetacean conservation. Essential.” — Sustain Magazine (UK)

“Hoyt makes clear that Marine Protected Areas offer a realistic and informed approach to immediate and future marine conservation. The science and logistics are complex, but the theory behind MPAs is simple. It’s a holistic approach to conservation in which single factors are considered cumulatively, rather than individually. So for example, the effects of all human activities in one area (say, fishing, recreational boating and waste management) are considered all together, not just for one particular species but on the entire local ecosystem, from whale to coral reef to microorganism. The emphasis is strongly on the management of human activities.” — Howard Garrett, Orca Network

“This authoritative handbook…is testimony to the substantial on-going efforts to implement the relatively new and bridging field of MPAs for cetacean species and habitats. [For Indonesia], the handbook is also a timely reminder that more MPAs are clearly needed…to ensure protective management.” — Indonesian Nature Conservation Newsletter

“In thirty years of cetacean advocacy I have never felt more empowered or inspired by any other cetacean book…Many books tell us all that we know about cetaceans; finally we have a book that tells us how to help them by protecting their habitats and perhaps more important, how to do more. This is the stuff the politicians need to know before they are moved to help… A book that anyone serious about wanting to conserve cetaceans and their habitats must have… A must-have book for every reference library in every country…Only Hoyt could have written it.” — William Rossiter, Cetacean Society Int’l director, reviewing in Whales Alive!

“Expertly written account of…a neglected and pressing issue. This first of its kind reference work, is of immense value to everyone who busies themselves with whale and dolphin conservation, and should be in the hands of every policy maker.” — American Cetacean Society newsletter, Puget Sound chapter

“There is much to recommend in this book. It has a great deal of information about all manner of marine protected areas. In addition it offers masses of data about cetacean location, the range of conservation measures available and the laws that exist. Much of these data are in table form making it easy to compare options. It would add considerably to any conservation or marine study and should be seriously considered for such. Target Readership: Senior Secondary. Overall Rating: **** (4 stars) — Paul S Ganderton, Book Review Editor, British Ecological Society, Teaching Ecology Group.

“Erich Hoyt’s handbook is an admirable, timely and highly welcome contribution….This will no doubt become the ‘bible’ of cetacean habitat conservation efforts.” — Michael Stachowitsch, Marine Ecology

The First Edition in 2004 (at left) was listed and recommended by:

Geographical (Magazine of the Royal Geographical Society, UK); Science Writers (Journal of the National Association of Science Writers, NASW, in the USA), Science News, MPA News, American Fisheries Journal, many others.

Citation for the 2nd Edition: Hoyt, E. 2011. Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises: A World Handbook for Cetacean Habitat Conservation and Planning. 2nd Edition, revised. Earthscan, London and New York. 477pp. ISBN: 978-1-84407-762-5 and 978-1-84407-763-2.

For signed copies, multiple copies for students or quantity discounts, click here, or go to You can also buy this book through and