A total of 1.2 million km2 of new marine reserves in progress
At the International Summit on Washington’s oceans that brings together representatives of 90 countries, scientists and NGOs, a total of 1.2 million km2 of new marine reserves was announced. Commercial fishing, oil drilling and other human activities affecting the oceans will be prohibited or restricted.
In this context, the United Kingdom has announced its ambition to double the size of marine protected areas in its overseas territories such as the Pitcairn Islands, St Helena and Ascension.
The first marine reserve of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean
Following the extension of the marine protected area of Midway Islands off Hawaii announced it two weeks ago, Barack Obama introduced the first marine reserve of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean: an area of nearly 12,800 km2 off New England, which is featured by its ridges and canyons in deep waters.
The monument, more than 100 miles southeast of Cape Cod in the northwest Atlantic Ocean, is home to undersea canyons and seamounts that comprise fragile and largely pristine deep marine ecosystems and rich biodiversity, including important deep sea corals, endangered whales and sea turtles, other marine mammals and numerous fish species.
The monument designation comes after significant engagement with local communities and fishermen.