In O’Leary et al. (2016), we undertook a quantitative synthesis (rather than a true statistical meta-analysis) of research to consider how much of the sea should be protected to achieve various conservation and management goals. We aimed to provide perspective on the appropriateness of global marine protected area coverage targets, particularly the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14/Convention on Biological Diversity goals to protect >10% of the sea by 2020. White et al. (2017) question the methodology of our approach, and we offer the following response.