Friday Victories: Comeback Coral and the MAR - Oceana USA
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June 27, 2008

Friday Victories: Comeback Coral and the MAR

A little breather from the Exxon Mobil gloom and doom of my last two posts — some welcome news today:1.) The northern section of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) between Iceland and the Azores has been given official protected status as a High Seas Marine Protected Area. The section of the undersea mountain range was given the status by the OSPAR Commission for the protection of the North-East Atlantic.Designating the massive area as protected will prohibit certain forms of fishing that can damage the rocky surfaces and threaten endangered fish species.Oceana marine scientist Margot Stiles says this designation is exciting because “It’s one of very few High Seas Marine Protected Areas. This is an area that isn’t in any jurisdiction — no single country controls the open ocean, so it’s a free-for-all and very hard to achieve this kind of protection.”2.) Science Daily reports on a new study revealing that no-take marine reserves, in which fishing is completely banned, can lead to very rapid comebacks of exploited fish species.Specifically, coral trout, the major target of commercial and recreational hook-and-line fisheries in Australia, bounced back in two years or less.Perhaps not too surprising, but this is good news nonetheless.[Image: Copyright WWF – Canon/ Cat Holloway]