Ocean News: "Our Ocean" Conference Closes with Major Victories for the Oceans - Oceana USA
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June 18, 2014

Ocean News: “Our Ocean” Conference Closes with Major Victories for the Oceans

The pink coral gardens of Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific abound with tropical fish. (Jim Maragos/USFWS)

On Monday, the president of the Pacific island nation Kiribati announced that he’ll ban all commercial fishing in the country’s Phoenix Islands Protected Area by 2015. Though these islands are small, they’re home to some of the most abundant coral reef archipelagos in the Pacific. Oceana marine scientist Amanda Keledjian told National Geographic that decreasing fishing here will “preserve biodiversity, large predators, and reefs.” National Geographic

By the end of the conference on Tuesday, four other nations committed to extending their marine protected areas by over a million square miles. These nations include the United States, Palau, the Cook Islands, and the Bahamas. National Geographic

– At the close of the conference, $1.8 billion had been pledged to protect the oceans. Commitments from governments and private sources raised more than $800 million, and Norway announced that it will allocate $1 billion towards climate change mitigation and adaption. U.S. Department of State

Shortly after Obama announced plans to expand marine reserves and tackle seafood fraud, actor and Oceana partner Leonardo DiCaprio announced that his foundation will give $7 million towards ocean conservation over the next two years. “If we don’t do something to save our oceans now, it won’t be just the sharks and the dolphins that will suffer; it will be all of us including our children and our grandchildren,” he said during his speech. ABC News

Long Read:

The New York Times Editorial Board stressed that the extension of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument—originally protected by former President George W. Bush—is a bipartisan issue, and all Americans should be thanking their leaders for protecting these areas. The New York Times

– Actor and Oceana Board Member Ted Danson, along with Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless, praise Obama for his commitment to combat seafood fraud and protect our oceans for generations to come. The Huffington Post