The Aquatic Gazette

Only 0.7% of the Ocean is Protected

In Marine on November 28, 2011 at 12:32

Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through activism. They state that only 0.7% of the world’s oceans are protected and to highlight this sad statistic, a compelling advertisement was commisioned and created by Young & Rubicam, Paris.

As aquatic hobbyists, we at [TAG] want to highlight the plight of marine fauna. Not only are the world’s oceans incredibly polluted, but overfishing is common place today. In the central North Pacific Ocean, there lies an ocean gyre of marine litter that is up to twice the size of the continental United States of America.

However, it is all not bad news for marine fauna. The Australian Government has just announced plans to create the world’s largest protected marine area in the Coral Sea. This proposed Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve will cover an amazing 989,842 square kilometers, which is roughly a tenth the size of the United States of America.

Quoting Tony Burke, Australia’s environment minister,

“In the space of one lifetime, the world’s oceans have gone from being relatively pristine to being under increasing pressure. The environmental significance of the Coral Sea lies in its diverse array of coral reefs, sandy cays, deep sea plains and canyons. It contains more than 20 outstanding examples of isolated tropical reefs, sandy cays and islands.”

The Coral Sea, which is located off Australia’s northeast coast and stretches from the Great Barrier Reef to Papua New Guinea in the north and the Solomon Islands in the east. Its shallow reef systems support tropical ecosystems abundant in hard and soft corals, sponges, algae, fish communities and other creatures such as nautilus and sea stars. Largely uninhabited islands also support critical nesting sites for green turtles and a range of seabird species.

The Australian Government should be lauded for taking the initiative to protect our marine treasures. We can only hope that other governments will do the same and protect bigger areas of our oceans. We may yet see the pathetic figure of 0.7% rise much higher before it’s too late.

We too can do our part in ensuring our oceans stay as clean as possible. If you are taking part in any activities at the beach or in our oceans, make the effort to take care of this fantastic resource, our efforts will always be worth the rewards the oceans bring.



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