We’re Far From Reaching Marine Protection Goals

Written by on November 16, 2015 in Policy & Ocean Law

Back in 2010, nearly 200 countries adopted the United Nations’ Aichi Biodiversity Targets that called for a commitment to protect at least 10% of the oceans by 2020. New research from the University of British Columbia (UBC) revealed that we are far from reaching that goal. Only four percent of the ocean lies within marine protected areas (MPAs).

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is a network of reserves that includes several no-take areas. Photo credit: NOAA.

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is a network of reserves that includes several no-take areas. Photo credit: NOAA.

In addition to increasing the amount of ocean protection, the Aichi Targets also “require that protected areas be effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected, all of which will help to ensure that MPAs contribute to more than percentage targets and meet the goal of conserving biodiversity,” study author Lisa Boonzaier explained in a news release.

Boonzaier also believes more countries need to implement no-take marine reserves and promote greater enforcement. Currently, only 0.5% of the global ocean has the “no-take” designation, despite the fact that no-take reserves have been shown to benefit the protected area and adjacent fisheries.

Though, there is good news, explains co-author Daniel Pauly: “Given the creation of very large marine protected areas in recent years, notably though the Global Ocean Legacy Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, there is a chance that the Aichi Targets can be reached, which would be a major achievement.”

To learn more:

Copyright © 2015 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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