Friday, 24 September 2010

Europe seeks to protect mid-Atlantic high seas

(Reuters) - European nations agreed on Friday to set up fishing-free zones in remote parts of the Atlantic Ocean in the world's first high seas network of protected areas beyond the control of national governments.

Environment ministers from 15 European states, forming the OSPAR group overseeing the North-East Atlantic, said they would seek recognition of the six areas at the United Nations and from the United States and Canada on the other side of the ocean.

"This is a historic step," Norwegian Environment Minister Erik Solheim told Reuters after the September 23-24 talks in Bergen, West Norway. "We will try to inspire other nations to do the same, like in the Indian ocean, the Pacific and other oceans."

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Sylvia Earle & Saving Our Oceans

Read Time Magazine's latest article about one woman's dream to create national parks in the sea.

'The Sargasso Sea has no shores. The 2 million-sq.-mi. body of water in the middle of the Atlantic is defined by two features: the ocean currents forming the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, which cycles around the sea, and sargassum, the free-floating golden-brown seaweed. The sargassum can be found scattered throughout the sea, sometimes entwined in vast waterborne mats. .......'

Read more:,28804,2020806_2020805,00.html#ixzz10Souq000

Thursday, 16 September 2010

MPA Update and appeal for assistance: Maldives

In June 2009 as part of its commitment to CBD’s Programme Of Work on Protected Areas the Maldivian government gazetted three new MPA’s; two in Baa Atoll and one in South Ari Atoll. At 42km² South Ari MPA is the largest MPA in the Maldives. It encompasses a stretch of epipelagic reef that forms the primary whale shark aggregation site in the Maldives and one of only a couple of sites in the world where whale sharks can be consistently encountered year round.

Sala & Gomez Island protection moves forward

The inhabited Sala & Gomez Island is one of the few pristine ecosystems remaining in the ocean. This Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean at 250 Nautical Miles from Easter Island is surrounded by numerous sea mounts (vulnerable ecosystems) and is the habitat of numerous large fish like the Yellowtail amberjack Seriola lalandi and the Yellowfin tuna Thunnus albacores, the endemic Easter Island lobster Panulirus pascuensis, an important population of Galapagos Shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis), and numerous threatened marine birds that nest in the island and feed in the surroundings like the Christmas Shearwater Puffinus nativitatis.

Executive Director: The Sargasso Sea Initiative

The Government of Bermuda and its international partners (the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford University, Mission Blue, the US Southeast Region of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and the Marine Conservation Biology Institute, among others) are seeking a Director for a major new initiative to establish the Sargasso Sea as a high seas protected area. The success of the Director and the Sargasso Initiative will be measured by the approval before the close of 2013 of binding regional and international instruments within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

IUCN Global Marine Program goes Polar

IUCN’s Global Marine Program is taking the lead for IUCN on all polar issues and so will now be known as the Global Marine and Polar Program (GMPP). The GMPP will continue to be the programmatic lead on all marine issues inside national jurisdiction as well as areas beyond national jurisdiction. The overall coordinator of the IUCN polar programmes will be Thomas Laughlin, Deputy Head of GMPP. GMPP Arctic.