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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Three-quarters of our planet is covered with water—and it’s this water that sustains life. But our liquid planet, home to half of the world’s known creatures and plants, is facing multiple threats, such as overfishing and commercial development. That’s why leading scientists say that 30 percent of our oceans should be protected. Host Dan LeDuc explores why this 30 percent data point is important... Read More
In recent years, leading marine scientists have said that protecting large areas of the sea as oceanic reserves carries the added benefit of helping ocean life weather the impacts of climate change. Support for that claim was spread across numerous disparate studies—until now. Read More