IMCC Panel: Size Matters: The Case for Large Ocean Reserves
Less 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:
- Dr. Daniel Pauly, University of British Columbia
Big Reserves Are Better
- Professor Dan Laffoley, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Little and Large: the Challenges of Ocean Protection
- Dr. Ashley McCrea-Strub, University of British Columbia
Global Financial Investment in Marine Protected Areas
- Alistair Gammell, Pew Environment Group
Chagos: The Largest No-Take Marine Reserve in the World
- Jay Nelson: Pew Environment Group
The Global Ocean Legacy Journey
- Kristina Gjerde, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Beyond National Jurisdiction: Protecting the High Seas
Media Contact: Laura Margison 202.540.6395