marine reserves

Mar. 23/15

New research led by researchers at the University of Victoria raises serious concerns about the ability of marine protected areas (MPAs) to effectively protect wide-ranging iconic species, such as sharks and rays.

The study, published today in Conservation Biology, investigated 21 years of recordings of shark and ray sightings at Cocos Island, a UNESCO heritage site and marine protected area off Costa Rica.

Mar. 19/15

Britain said it intended to create what will be the world's biggest fully-protected marine reserve, covering an area nearly the size of France and Germany put together in the Pacific Ocean.

The reserve will be based around the remote Pitcairn Islands archipelago, a British overseas territory that is inhabited by descendants of the sailors who staged a famous mutiny on the Bounty ship in 1789.

"The government intends to proceed with designation of a MPA (Marine Protected Area) around Pitcairn," read the budget unveiled by finance minister George Osborne in parliament.

Sep. 26/14

US President Barack Obama has signed a memorandum to expand a vast marine reserve in the Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument will become the largest network of oceanic protected areas in the world.

The memorandum bans commercial fishing, deep-sea mining and other extraction of underwater resources in the area.

Apr. 14/13

An exhausting battle spanning nearly 20 years for a new marine reserve in Akaroa Harbour is nearly at an end. 

The Akaroa Marine Protection Society, a group of about 20 determined locals headed by husband and wife team Brian and Kathleen Reid, has been fighting for a 530-hectare marine reserve in Akaroa Harbour since 1996.

The reserve, near Dan Rogers Bluff, would protect about 12 per cent of the harbour from fishing.

This afternoon, Conservation Minister Nick Smith announced his approval of the reserve. 

Akaroa Marine Protection Society secretary K MORE

Nov. 01/12

Major nations failed to reach agreement on Thursday to set up huge marine protected areas off Antarctica under a plan to step up conservation of creatures such as whales and penguins around the frozen continent.

The 25-member Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) agreed, however, to hold a special session in Germany in July 2013 to try to break the deadlock after the October 8-November 1 meeting in Hobart, Australia.

Oct. 13/12

A 10-fold rise in Marine Protected Areas has been recorded over a decade.

A report to a UN meeting on biodiversity in Hyderabad reports that more than 8.3 million sq km - 2.3% of the global ocean area - is now protected.

The percentage is small but the rapid growth in recent times leads to hope that the world will hit its target of 10% protected by 2020.

This would have looked most unlikely prospect just a few years ago.

Aug. 30/12

The Cook Islands announced the creation of the world’s largest marine park at the opening of the Pacific Islands Forum on Tuesday, a vast swathe of ocean almost twice the size of France.

Prime Minister Henry Puna said the 1.065 million square kilometre (411,000 square mile) reserve “(is) the largest area in history by a single country for integrated ocean conservation and management”.

Puna said protecting the Pacific, one of the last pristine marine ecosystems, was the Cooks’ major contribution “to the well-being of not only our peoples, but also of humanity”.

Aug. 21/12

Recently, thousands of Project AWARE divers called for new marine reserves in Australia. The Australian Government heard our voice and in June, announced a major new network of marine reserves including the world's second largest marine national park.

This was a major victory for the ocean and its wildlife, and showed the collective power of AWARE divers worldwide.