mpa's tagged posts

Nations reach accord to protect marine life on high seas

For the first time, United Nations members have agreed on a unified treaty to protect biodiversity in the high seas, representing a turning point in a years long effort to bestow order on vast stretches of the planet where conservation has previously been hampered by a confusing patchwork of laws. The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea came into force in 1994, before marine biodiversity was a well-established concept. The treaty agreement concluded two weeks of talks in New York.

An updated framework to protect marine life in the regions outside national boundary waters, known as the high seas, had been in discussions for more than 20 years, but previous efforts to reach an agreement had repeatedly stalled...

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UN: Climate Disruption, Biodiversity, Pollution

“The planet is facing a triple crisis — climate disruption, biodiversity loss and pollution,” the United Nations Secretary-General said, adding that “we need the international community to intensify efforts to protect the ocean.”

Speaking at the recent One Ocean Summit, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “The ocean shoulders much of the burden. It serves as a giant carbon and heat sink. As a result, the ocean is growing warmer and more acidic, polar ice is melting and global weather patterns are changing. Ocean ecosystems are suffering. So, too, are the communities who rely on them. More than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. The number of marine species is dropping. Coral reefs are dying.

“Coastal ecosystems have...

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Portugal Establishes the Largest Fully PMR in Europe & North Atlantic

Giant anemone (Telmatactis cricoides) with white-striped cleaner shrimp in newly expanded Selvagens marine reserve

Today the government of Portugal expanded a marine protected area around the Selvagens Islands, creating the largest fully protected marine reserve in Europe at 2,677 square kilometers. The Selvagens Islands are a small archipelago in the North Atlantic located midway between Madeira and the Canary Islands.

National Geographic Pristine Seas studied the Selvagens Islands in September of 2015 in partnership with the Oceano Azul and the Waitt Foundation. During their expedition, the team conducted what was among the first underwater surveys of the ecosystem – from the shallows to the depths – and filmed the biodiversity around the islands...

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Studies Show Powerful Benefits of Fully Protected Ocean Areas

New research shows that fully protected areas had 30% more fish species and 2.5 times more fish biomass compared with open areas. It is becoming increasingly clear that humankind must do more to protect our ocean. It generates about half of the planet’s oxygen, regulates our climate, and is home to 80% of all life on Earth. Yet, ocean health is critically threatened by human activities that are driving the collapse of fisheries, the loss of biodiversity, and the acidification of seawater.

There is a growing recognition among political leaders, Indigenous groups, communities, and scientists that governments and other regulatory bodies need to protect and conserve at least 30% of Earth’s coastal and marine areas by 2030 to secure and maintain a healthy ocean...

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Do Marine Protected Areas Work?

In the field of marine conservation, a marine protected area (MPA) is an expanse of sea, ocean, estuaries, coastal waters, and in the United States, the U.S. Great Lakes, where fishing, mining, drilling, and other extractive human activity is restricted in an effort to protect the waters’ natural resources and marine life.

Deep-sea corals, for example, which can be up to 4,000 years old, can be damaged by fishing trawls that drag along the ocean floor, scooping up bottom-dwelling fish and crustaceans. By not allowing humans to deplete, disturb, or pollute waterways at will, MPAs discourage such damage to and disregard for sea life...

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