Nations announce significant new MPA plans and other advances

MPA News

In recent months, several nations have announced plans for significant new MPAs or MPA-related initiatives:

  • At the Our Ocean 2015 conference in October in Chile, the host nation announced its creation of the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park, a 297,000-km2 no-take area covering much of the EEZ of the Chilean islands of San Ambrosio and San Felix. Chile also committed to designating an MPA in the 720,000-km2 EEZ around Easter Island, to be preceded by consultation with the island’s indigenous Rapa Nui community. https://oct.to/Zkn
  • New Zealand has announced plans to designate a 620,000-km2 no-take area in the Kermadec region of the South Pacific Ocean in 2016. The forthcoming MPA — extending from 12 nm to 200 nm from the Kermadec Islands — will complement the existing Kermadec Marine Reserve that extends from the islands’ shores to 12 nm. https://oct.to/Zkh
  • Palau has passed legislation to designate a 500,000-km2 no-take marine reserve, closing roughly 80% of the nation’s waters to fishing and mining. The closure will be phased in over five years. https://oct.to/Zk7 and https://oct.to/Zk2
  • The US announced it is moving forward on designating two new national marine sanctuaries — one in the state of Maryland, one in the Great Lakes. Both will protect maritime heritage. Once designated, they will be the first new national marine sanctuaries since 2001. https://oct.to/Zk8 Also, the US and Cuba have announced a partnership to cooperate on conservation and management of MPAs. https://oct.to/ZkX
  • A vessel that was observed fishing in Kiribati’s no-take Phoenix Islands Protected Area in June 2015 has been fined US $1 million by a Kiribati court. The offending vessel tried to escape but was captured after a four-day chase by Kiribati authorities. https://oct.to/ZkB

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