The proclamation expands the Monuments from 83,000 square miles to 490,000 square miles. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
President Obama on Thursday signed a proclamation designating the world’s largest marine reserve and declaring it completely off limits to commercial fishing and mining.
The proclamation expands the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to six times its current size, resulting in 490,000 square miles (about 390,000 square nautical miles) of protected environment around tropical islands and atolls in the south-central Pacific Ocean. At that size, it is now the largest protected area on the planet, land or sea. The protected area encompasses the seven islands and reefs of Wake, Johnston, Baker, Howland, Kingman, Jarvis and Palmyra, as well as the ocean around them.
For comparison, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park covers an area of about 214,000 square miles.
The President and his administration identified expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument as an area of particular interest for protection because science has shown that large marine protected areas can help rebuild biodiversity, support fish populations, and improve overall ecosystem resilience. In choosing the area, the Administration examined how to expand protections near the Monument and considered input of fishermen, scientists, conservation experts, elected officials, and other stakeholders, which included a town hall meeting and over 170,000 comments submitted electronically.
The expanded Monument will include over 130 newly protected sea mounts, which are hotspots of biodiversity and are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The expansion is expected to better protect the delicate habitat, which includes sea turtles, marine mammals, manta rays and coral. The Monument is also home to millions of seabirds.
In June, President Obama launched a series of executive actions to increase protections for the ocean, including combating black market fishing, establishing a pathway to new marine sanctuaries, and understanding the impacts of ocean acidification.
The expanded monument will continue to be managed by the Departments of the Interior and Commerce through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration respectively.
By David Shepardson WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department declined to investigate or prosecute then-Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao after the inspector general’s office referred allegations of potential...
By Vera Eckert (Reuters) – Container shipping firm Hapag-Lloyd said surging demand for bulky goods like exercise equipment from locked-down consumers may flatten out in the second or early third quarter,...
By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen (Reuters) – Shipping group Maersk ($AMKBY) said on Wednesday it would accelerate plans to decarbonize sea-borne container shipping by putting the world’s first vessel powered by carbon-neutral...
February 17, 2021
Total Views: 1971
Sign Up Now for gCaptain Daily
Just enter your email and get hot news every morning
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.