From the heat of the equator to the deep chills of the North and South poles, the ocean binds the planet together. Making up more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, it is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s known species, many of which still await discovery. But human activities are increasingly threatening its health.
Research shows that large, fully protected marine reserves are a key tool for addressing many challenges to ocean health. Reserves help conserve valuable biodiversity and protect traditional cultures closely linked to the sea.
In 2006, The Pew Charitable Trusts and several partners launched the Global Ocean Legacy project in an effort to establish the world’s first generation of great marine parks. In its 10 years of existence, Global Ocean Legacy helped to obtain commitments to safeguard more than 2.4 million square miles (6.3 million square kilometers) of ocean.
But even with these successes, less than 3 percent of the world’s ocean has strong protections. Recognizing that the International Union for Conservation of Nature recommends we need to protect 30 percent of our oceans, based on the best-available science, Pew and the Bertarelli Foundation have joined forces in a new partnership with the goal of increasing the number of fully protected parks in the sea from nine to 15 by 2022.
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Jutting from the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, over 2,400 kilometres from the nearest continental land, the peaks of four underwater volcanoes form the Tristan da Cunha archipelago. Due largely to the islands’ remoteness—nearly equidistant from South Africa, South America and Antarctica—the rich biodiversity of this British Overseas Territory is unique and highly... Read More
The past two years have been pivotal for the conservation of our oceans. Since 2015, more of the ocean has been set aside for protection than during any other period in history. In the past six months alone, governments around the world have committed to protecting nearly 3.8 million square kilometers (1.47 million square miles) of ocean. These policy actions are based on the scientifically... Read More
As spring began to thaw the Southern Hemisphere last fall, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Amelia Connell joined scientists for an Oct. 20-Nov. 8 expedition to explore and study New Zealand’s remote Kermadec region, located in the Pacific Ocean 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) northeast of the nation’s North Island. Read More