Federal protected areas in marine areas
Protected natural areas (PNA) have been one of the main environmental policy strategies addressing conservation worldwide (Pomeroy, et al., 2006; UNEP, 2007; Bezaury-Creel et al., 2009). They serve primarily to protect the flora and fauna, natural resources of special importance and representative ecosystems of a region or country; hence, creation of PNAs directly reflects government measures to safeguard both ecosystem biodiversity and the environmental services provided by it (Verhulst, 2004; UNEP, 2007). The Federal protected areas in marine zones serves as an indicator of government efforts in the conservation of important marine areas for their natural resources, flora, fauna and/or representative ecosystems. These indicators have been extensively used by international organizations (e. g. ONU, 2007; OECD, 2008 and Banco Mundial, 2009) and by environmental ministries or agencies of many countries, including Mexico.
Fisheries inspection activities
The protection and regulation of national fisheries is achieved through various instruments, ranging from licenses and Mexican Official Standards to the establishment of "minimum catch size", closed seasons and prohibition of environmentally unfriendly fishing gear. Inspection and surveillance activities carried out by Profepa and Community Policing Committees are the most important means to ensure compliance with those instruments. In this sense, the indicator Inspection and surveillance of fisheries resources reflects efforts by the government and society for the protection of these resources. Further information and details on this indicator are found in the chapter on Fishery resources.
Ecological marine and coastal regulations issued
Land-use planning is a tool intended for regulating or promoting land use and production activities taking into consideration environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources (Semarnat, 2008; March et al., 2009). The indicator ecological ordinances enacted in marine and coastal areas shows planning and guiding efforts for the development in those areas of Mexico, with the aim to avoid the potential negative effects of development activities on marine ecosystems.