marine park tagged posts

Australia and European Union push for east Antarctic marine sanctuary

Antarctica protected zone

Australia will push for a million square kilometres of the Antarctic ocean to be protected as a marine sanctuary at an international forum in Hobart this week. Bids to preserve a large area of pristine ocean off east Antarctica have struck opposition in the past, including at last year’s meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, where China and Russia played a part in blocking the proposal.

Australia is co-sponsoring the proposal for an East Antarctic Marine Protected Area, along with the European Union, and will resubmit it at this year’s CCAMLR meeting. The organisation’s membership includes 25 nations and the EU.

The plan requires the support of all members for it to proceed.

The environment minister, Sussan Ley, said the decision to pur...

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Blue belt zones to protect minke whales

Special protections are planned for minke whales and basking sharks in their feeding grounds around Scotland.A consultation has been launched on creating four new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) covering 5,000 square miles of sea.

The Scottish government said the proposals were a world first and would also protect Risso’s dolphins and a wide range of other biodiversity.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation charity said it was “delighted.”

The proposed sites are at the southern trench in the outer Moray Firth, north east Lewis, the Sea of the Hebrides and Shiant East Bank.

MPAs are sometimes referred to as the “blue belt”.

There are areas of sea in which species and habitats benefit from special protections such as prohibiting fishing or dredging.

The management of each zone...

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UK Government’s promise to protect UK seas a ‘sham’

English coastline in Devon

The UK government’s promise to protect Britain’s coastal waters has been called a “sham” by a leading ocean scientist. Professor Callum Roberts of York University told Sky News that Britain’s so-called marine protected areas (MPAs) are just “lines on a map” and do little to safeguard wildlife.

He said allowing continued commercial exploitation, such as fishing, drilling and dredging, is “no protection at all.”

Sky’s Ocean Rescue is working with WWF to safeguard marine conservation zones across Europe. Plastic pollution, climate change and over-fishing have put the ocean under unprecedented pressure.

Sky News will be closely following United Nations oceans campaigner Lewis Pugh as he swims the length of the English Channel to highlight the plight of the UK’s domestic waters.

There are ...

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Marine protected areas often expensive and misplaced

The University of Queensland was part of research which found protected areas missed many unique ecosystems, and have a greater impact on fisheries than necessary. A collaboration with the University of Hamburg, Wildlife Conservation Society and The Nature Conservancy assessed the efficiency of marine protected areas, which now cover 16 per cent of national waters around the world.

UQ’s School of Biological Sciences researcher Professor Hugh Possingham said international marine preservation targets are falling short.

“International conservation targets such as the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals call for protection of at least 10 per cent of all the world’s oceans and all marine ecosystems,” he said.

“Despite a tenfold increase in marine protected areas since the year 2000 — ...

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Study: Marine Protected Areas Won’t Matter

climate change prediction graph

New research from the University of North Carolina concludes that most marine life in marine protected areas will not be able to tolerate warming ocean temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

There are 8,236 marine protected areas around the world covering about four percent of the surface of the ocean. They have been established as a haven to protect threatened marine life, like polar bears, penguins and coral reefs, from the effects of fishing and other activities such as oil and gas extraction.

The study found that with continued “business-as-usual” emissions, the protections currently in place won’t matter, because by 2100, warming and reduced oxygen concentration will make marine protected areas uninhabitable by most species currently residing in those areas.

The study ...

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Bigger Is Not Better for Ocean Conservation

Fish graphic demonstrates fish nearer coastlines

I have spent my entire life pushing for new protected areas in the world’s oceans. But a disturbing trend has convinced me that we’re protecting very little of real importance with our current approach.

From Hawaii to Brazil to Britain, the establishment of large marine protected areas, thousands of square miles in size, is on the rise. These areas are set aside by governments to protect fisheries and ecosystems; human activities within them generally are managed or restricted. While these vast expanses of open ocean are important, their protection should not come before coastal waters are secured. But in some cases, that’s what is happening.

Near-shore waters have a greater diversity of species and face more immediate threats from energy extraction, tourism, development, habitat deg...

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Marine parks: big or small? Both, says oceans expert

Starfish on a coral reef in Bali, Indonesia

Climate change is threatening to wipe out coral reefs within our lifetime. One solution is the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs), but what should MPAs look like, and how large should they be? That question was raised in a provocative op-ed published recently in the New York Times that argued against large-scale MPAs in favor of smaller MPAs that protect threatened coastlines and single reefs.

In a recent piece for News Deeply published today, Conservation International senior vice president ‘Aulani Wilhelm says that argument needlessly draws a line between two parts of the same solution.

“It’s a false choice — the reality is that we need both,” Wilhelm writes...

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Loss of protection for sanctuaries threaten oceanic environment

Watching a baby black tip shark

The Trump administration is considering rolling back federal protections for a number of national monuments. While most are on land and relatively accessible, three are deep below the ocean’s surface and many miles from the mainland: the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument, both in the central Pacific Ocean, and the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England.

While most people will never explore the canyons and reefs of these watery realms, their value is hard to overestimate, according to Stanford scientists with years of experience exploring and studying these and adjacent areas.

The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment spoke with marine experts Rob Dunbar, Fiorenza Micheli, Step...

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New Marine Parks Protect 290,000 Square Miles of Ocean

Meeru Island

The parks protect a combined area in the Pacific Ocean more than twice the size of Germany. The countries of Chile and Niue just made a huge splash in the world of ocean conservation. Niue, a tiny South Pacific island nation with a population of roughly 1,600, has turned 40 percent of its exclusive economic zone into a marine park, and Chile added two new marine parks where fishing and all other extractive activities are banned. Together, the three new parks protect some 290,000 square miles of ocean—an area more than twice the size of Germany.

Together, the three new parks protect some 290,000 square miles of ocean—an area more than twice the size of Germany.

The two countries will announce their new marine protected areas (MPAs) at the Our Ocean conference, which runs in Malta on T...

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Kimberley marine park: stunt or conservation tool?

Kimberley Marine Park

A bigger-is-better announcement in an election year or a valuable way of protecting some of Australia’s most important marine environments? The Great Kimberley Marine Park could be all of this — and more.

Depending on who you talk to, it’s also a way of locking up fish, of creating Aboriginal jobs, a boost to the fledgling Kimberley ecotourism industry, a marketer’s dream and has elements of “greenwashing”.

Once established later this year, the Great Kimberley Marine Park will take in coastal waters from Camden Sound to the Northern Territory border, an area of 30,000 square kilometres which is home to pristine coral reefs, marine turtles and the world’s biggest population of humpback whales.

It’s a huge area of ocean — Environment Minister Albert Jacob says it will be the second-biggest...

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