Massive New Marine Reserve – Thanks Obama!

There is lots I wanted to talk about this week and wasn’t sure where to start. There has been quite a lot of interesting marine mammal and marine developments going on.

What has most excited me and come back into the news a lot is the expansion of the marine protected area in the Pacific – Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument – which has been massively expanded through President Obama using his executive powers and the antiquities act to┬ábypass congress and set up the largest marine protected area in the world. The area is being enlarged to more than 490,000 square miles from just over 87,000 square miles that were initially protected by President Bush.

Melonhead whales (Peponocephala electra) Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Photo credit: Kydd Pollock

Melonhead whales (Peponocephala electra) Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument [Photo Credit: Kydd Pollock].

This creation is very positive news as the area is going to be a fully protected no take zone with no commercial fishing or other marine degrading actives allowed. This large area will protect deep sea coral reefs and underwater sea mounts which, are hot spots for biodiversity alongside large areas of ocean that are important for migrating species including marine mammals such as humpback whales as well as sea turtles, bull sharks and tuna species.

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