Ascension Island becomes marine reserve


This is an Ascension frigatebird video.

From the BBC:

Ascension Island to become marine reserve

By Roger Harrabin, BBC environment analyst

3 January 2016

The government is to create a marine reserve almost as big as the UK in the Atlantic waters of Ascension Island.

Just over half of the protected area will be closed to fishing.

The fishery in the other half will be policed under a grant of £300,000 from the Louis Bacon Foundation, a charitable body.

It is the latest marine reserve to be declared around remote islands, which will increase marine conservation zones to about 2% of the ocean.

That remains a far cry from the 30% recommended by scientists to preserve species and expand fish stocks, but is much more than just a few years ago.

Governments have designated marine parks at Palau in the North Pacific, Easter Island and Pitcairn in the South Pacific, and New Zealand’s Kermadec islands, in what has become a landmark year for ocean conservation.

The latest reserve at Ascension Island is said to hold some of the largest marlin in the world, one of the largest populations of green turtles, big colonies of tropical seabirds and the island’s own unique frigate bird.

Conservation commitment

The reserve totals 234,291 sq km, slightly less than the size of the United Kingdom. It could be ready for formal designation as soon as 2017, once further data has been collected and analysed.

Dr Judith Brown, director of fisheries and marine conservation for Ascension Island government, said: “The economic benefit from the fishery has provided much-needed income for the island.

“This donation will help fund the enforcement to protect the closed area from illegal fishing.”

The Great British Oceans Coalition, which includes the Blue Marine Foundation and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, has been campaigning since 2014 for the designation of all or part of Ascension’s waters.

Charles Clover, Blue Marine Foundation chairman, said: “Ascension has been at the frontiers of science since Charles Darwin went there in the 19th Century, so it is entirely appropriate that it is now at the centre of a great scientific effort to design the Atlantic’s largest marine reserve.”

An accident of colonial history has left the UK and France with huge potential to safeguard marine life around remote oceanic islands.

6 thoughts on “Ascension Island becomes marine reserve

  1. The summit has started and Avaaz staff are about to deliver our petition into the room — join now!

    Our oceans are dying, but in days, governments will decide on an inspiring plan to protect 30% of them. Right now, the vote is too close to call and we can tip the balance. Let’s send 1 million voices straight into the summit hall:

    Sign the petition

    Dear friends,

    Our oceans are collapsing, with vast disturbing dead areas reported to be expanding in the Pacific. But hope is also rising, with more ocean protected last year than ever before!

    This week could decide whether collapse or conservation wins the race. Scientists say if we conserve 30% of our oceans, that will be enough to regenerate the rest — and this plan is actually on the table at the powerful World Conservation Congress in 3 days!

    Countries with fishing lobbies like Japan are opposing the plan, so it’s up to us to bring a massive counterweight of people power. This could be the tipping point for our oceans — let’s send 1 million voices to save them straight into the summit:

    Click here to save our oceans

    Oceans provide half of the oxygen we breathe, but overfishing, climate change and pollution are killing off our planet’s spring of life. Unless we act now, our greed could lead to the worst mass extinction in 55 million years.

    180 governments are about to meet for a vote that could set a global standard to protect 30% of our oceans by 2030. This vote isn’t legally binding, but it is the foundation for a mandatory deal.

    Last year saw more ocean reserves created than ever before, after massive public campaigning. We know our voices count. Let’s come together now so we don’t push our oceans to their last breath:

    Click here to save our oceans

    It covers 71% of our planet, is home to thousands of species we haven’t even discovered yet, and it sustains all life on earth. That is the miracle and the wonder of our oceans. It is also so profoundly powerful that it can heal itself from man-made destruction. But only if we give the blue heart of our planet a fighting chance. And that is the gift our community can give if we come together.

    With hope and determination,

    Dalia, Nell, Danny, Lisa, Ari, Diego, Fatima, Alice and the rest of the Avaaz team

    MORE INFORMATION:

    Protecting 30 percent of the ocean has many benefits, study suggests (University of York)
    https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2016/research/oceans-conservation-fisheries/

    Hope Spots: an actionable plan to save the ocean (National Geographic)
    http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/08/hope-spots-an-actionable-plan-to-save-the-ocean/

    Increasing marine protected area coverage for effective marine biodiversity conservation (IUCN)
    https://portals.iucn.org/congress/motion/053

    Obama creates the largest protected place on the planet, in Hawaii (Washington Post)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-to-create-the-largest-protected-place-on-the-planet-off-hawaii/2016/08/25/54ecb632-6aec-11e6-99bf-f0cf3a6449a6_story.html

    Like

  2. Pingback: Protect Atlantic Ocean wildlife | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Tuesday 22nd November 2016

    posted by Morning Star in World

    PHILIPPINES President Rodrigo Duterte moved to settle the long-running South China Sea row with China yesterday by declaring the disputed Scarborough Shoal a marine reserve.

    Mr Duterte’s action would forbid any nation’s ships fishing in the shoal’s vast triangular lagoon but boats of all flags would be able to fish outside the sanctuary.

    National security adviser Hermogenes Esperon did not say whether Mr Duterte discussed the idea with Chinese President Xi Jinping when they met at the weekend’s Asia-Pacific summit in Peru.

    He called the move “a unilateral action from government.”

    China seized the Scarborough Shoal in 2012 after a tense stand-off with the Philippines.

    Mr Duterte’s predecessor Benigno Aquino took the dispute to an arbitration court in The Hague, but China does not recognise its jurisdiction.

    Mr Aquino even compared China to nazi Germany in 2015, but Mr Duterte has mended ties with Beijing since his election this year.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-0948-Duterte-aims-to-settle-fishing-dispute-by-declaring-lagoon-a-marine-reserve#.WDQoi32bIdU

    Like

  4. Pingback: Styx and Eldorado, new films on refugees | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Marine reserves save fish, other wildlife | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Ascension Island green turtles good news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.