25 Sep 2014

Barack Obama to create world's largest ocean reserve in the Pacific: Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which bans commercial fishing, to be expanded to six times its current size

Barack Obama will use his presidential powers on Thursday to create the world’s largest marine reserve in the Pacific, banning fishing and other commercial activities across vast swaths of pristine sea populated by whales, dolphins and sea turtles and dotted with coral atolls.
Thursday’s proclamation will expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument reserve, created by George Bush, to about six times its current size.
It will ban commercial fishing and deep sea mining in about 490,000 square miles around remote tropical atolls and islands in the south-central Pacific Ocean, a White House fact sheet said.
Other vast swathes of the Pacific will also come under protection on Thursday, with the tiny island state of Kiribati due to announce that it will ban commercial fishing in one of the last great tuna grounds left in the world.
Kiribati’s no-take zone, around the Phoenix Islands protected area, will cover about 158,000 sq m, about the size of California. It comes into effect in January 2015.
Campaigners said the Pacific Remote Islands reserve – because of its sheer scale – would cement Obama’s conservation legacy.
However, they noted that Obama had dramatically scaled back the reserve following opposition from the commercial tuna industry.
The Marine Conservation Institute had been pressing Obama to expand the marine park to the fullest extent possible, around all seven islands and atolls, which would have pushed the limits of the no-take areas to about 782,000 sq m instead of the 490,000 being announced on Thursday.
But after protests from Hawaii-based tuna fleets, Obama opted to leave the seas around four of those islands – Howland and Baker islands, Palmyra atoll and Kingman Reef – open to fishing.
It was the 12th time Obama has bypassed Congress and used the antiquities act for environmental protection.
“This is a great moment,” said Greg Stone, chief scientist for Conservation International. “This is some of the last real tropical ocean wilderness left on the planet, so it’s good put some of these kind of reef systems aside. On top of that there are the protections for the opean ocean and I’m assuming for the sea floor from mining,” he said.

1 comment:

  1. what a perfect cover to do something illegal. a paradise for a diabolical mastermind to have time and space to do whatever they want

    ReplyDelete