IMCC Panel: Size Matters: The Case for Large Ocean Reserves

Chagos Marine Reserve-Global Ocean LegacyLess than half of 1 percent of our oceans are fully protected as no-take parks (areas where extractive and destructive activities are prohibited). By comparison, more than 15 times as much land area receives some kind of protection.

More than a century ago, countries acted to protect important landscapes such as Yellowstone National Park in the United States and Kruger National Park in South Africa. Today, we are just beginning to turn attention to protecting similarly significant places in our oceans.

Large, no-take marine reserves—comparable to large national parks on land—can benefit a broad array of species and critical habitats. Recognition of this potential has inspired a growing number of marine scientists (now at 271) from 40 countries to call for the establishment of a worldwide system of such reserves.

Maritime nations are also recognizing their vital responsibility to be global leaders in marine conservation. Last year, the United Kingdom designated the Chagos Marine Reserve in the Indian Ocean, creating the world's largest no-take marine reserve. Under consideration are more large sites, which, if designated, will significantly increase the protection of marine life and the ecosystems that sustain it.

On May 15, the Global Ocean Legacy project of the Pew Environment Group will host the panel "Size Matters: The Case for Large Ocean Reserves" at the International Marine Conservation Congress in Victoria, British Columbia. Several experts will explore the scientific case for large, highly protected marine reserves and provide an overview of the initiatives that are under way to establish them:

Download the PDF flyer for Size Matters: the Case for Large Ocean Reserves. 

Media Contact: Laura Margison 202.540.6395

Topics: Oceans, Environment

Project: Global Ocean Legacy - Chagos, Global Ocean Legacy