#GivingTuesday: The Ocean Gives Us ….

Divers in San Miguel de Cozumel, Mexico imageNo matter where we live, the ocean touches our lives every day. It gives us food, water, commerce, and recreation. It even provides some of the medicines that heal us and the air we breathe. It gives us oxygen, rain, food, excitement, joy, wonder, mystery and so much more. The most powerful component in ocean conservation is us! From everyday lifestyle changes such as ditching the plastic water bottles for reusable ones to taking part in Dive Against Debris surveys, our actions and our voice have the most powerful impact on the health of our oceans. Today as the world celebrates #GivingTuesday, an international day of giving, let’s give back to the ocean!

Protected areas in the ocean now exceed size of Europe

Nearly three percent of the world’s oceans – an area slightly larger than Europe – now lies within designated marine protected areas, according to new data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is a significant increase from 2010 when the area protected was just 1.2 per cent. However, many of the new protected zones may be of little value in terms of conservation.

See on www.newscientist.com

You just woke up, and know what? Today the world’s oceans are protected in one huge global MPA

MPAs are part of the management toolbox that can ensure sustainable use of the oceans and provide the world with fish proteins. Yet, even as benefits of MPAs related to food security, ecosystem services and livelihoods are known, we currently fail on our commitments to protect 10% of the oceans by 2020. Perhaps we need to look at the problem through a new angle: what if you woke up one day and all the oceans were protected? From now on, ocean users would have to make their case to convince governments of their need to have space allocated for their activity.

See on newswatch.nationalgeographic.com


UK seas to gain 31 marine conservation zones

Ocean News

Campaigners dismayed that ministers rejected advice to create 127 zones, which are intended to protect ocean floors

See on www.guardian.co.uk

Australia’s Ocean to be Protected under Plan to add 44 large-scale Marine Reserves

MORE than a third of Australia’s ocean will be protected under a Gillard Government plan to add 44 large-scale marine reserves to the national network.

Environment Minister Tony Burke will today unveil the government’s final network of marine reserves – the most comprehensive network of marine-protected areas in the world.

“For generations Australians have understood the need to preserve precious areas on land as national parks,” Mr Burke said.

“Our oceans contain unique marine life which needs protection too.”

Mr Burke said the government’s aim was to protect Australia’s unique marine environment, “while supporting coastal communities and marine industries around the country”.

Great Barrier reef

Great Barrier reef

“Over the coming months, the government will consult the fishing industry and fisheries management agencies on the design and implementation of a fisheries adjustment assistance package,” he said.

He warned it was too late to change the size of the reserves and their location.

“The question now is very straight forward: Do we go ahead with the most comprehensive marine park network in the world or do we not?” he said.

The new marine reserves take the overall size of the Commonwealth marine reserves network to 3.1 million square kilometres, and features:

The Coral Sea Region – which covers an area of more than half the size of Queensland – supports critical nesting sites for the green turtle and is renowned for its diversity of big predatory fish and sharks

The South-West Marine Region – which extends from the eastern end of Kangaroo Island in SA to Shark Bay in WA – is of global significance as a breeding and feeding ground for a number of protected marine species such as southern right whales, blue whales and the Australian Sea Lion

The Temperate East Marine Region – which runs from the southern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to Bermagui in southern NSW – includes the waters surrounding Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands and is home to the critically endangered east coast population of grey nurse shark, the vulnerable white shark and has important offshore reef habitat at Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs and Lord Howe Island that support the threatened black cod

The North-West Marine Region – which stretches from the WA-NT border through to Kalbarri, south of Shark Bay in WA – is home to the whale shark which is the world’s largest fish and provides protection to the world’s largest population of humpback whales that migrate annually from Antarctica to give birth in the water off the Kimberely

The Marine National Park Zones (green on the national map) provide the highest level of protection, banning extractive activities including fishing and petroleum.

Passage of vessels is still allowed in those zones, as is tourism and some recreational activities, like diving.

The Habitat Protection Zones and Conservation Park Zones (yellow on the map) protect habitats such a coral reefs.

Some low impact extractive activities – including some forms of commercial fishing – are allowed in those areas, while recreational fishing and tourism are allowed.

The Multiple Use and Special Purpose Zones (light blue and dark blue on the map) allow for a greater range of activities, both recreational and commercial. Some activities, for example bottom trawl and gillnet fishing, are excluded.
It is expected that the final marine reserves will be declared before the end of the 2012.

See on www.dailytelegraph.com.au

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