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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The near-pristine waters surrounding the Chilean territory of Easter Island, which host a vibrant array of sea life and support a centuries-old local culture, will be home to the world’s newest large marine protected area (MPA). At the International Marine Protected Areas Congress in Valpairaso, Chile, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced that her government will designate the Rapa... Read More
Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project Commends Chile’s Declaration of the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Rahui Marine Protected Area
The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project applauds the Chilean government’s declaration today of the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Rahui Marine Protected Area (MPA) to safeguard the waters surrounding the iconic Pacific Ocean island, which is known—as are its inhabitants—as Rapa Nui. Read More
After four days at sea and amid a violent storm, our voyaging canoe finally approached Raivavae, a Pacific island about 445 miles south of Tahiti. As thick rain and waves lashed the deck, I fought to keep the boat on course during a shift at the helm. As happy as I was to see land, I was also already growing nostalgic about leaving the great ocean. Read More