• Possible Reduction in Boundaries of Two Marine National Monuments?

    The Washington Post published an article, which claims that U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke has recommended shrinking the boundaries of two marine national monuments — the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll. Click here to read the Post article. 

  • EU Malta Conference Includes Ocean Zoning

    The European Union will host its fourth Our Ocean Conference in St. Julian, Malta, on October 5-6, 2017.

    This conference will address the themes of marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, climate change, blue economy and climate change.

    This conference complements the EU’s international ocean governance initiative, which sets out an agenda for the future of the oceans around the world.

    Click here for more detail and relevant links.

  • NOAA Sends Marine Sanctuary ICR to OMB/OIRA

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has submitted the following Paperwork Reduction Act Information Collection Request to the Office of Management and Budget for review: Socioeconomics of Users and Non Users of Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary. OMB Control Number: 0648–0625.

    This ICR is for a reinstatement, with changes, of a previous information collection. NOAA, through its National Ocean Service, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, is replicating a study done in 2010–2011 on users and non-users of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Georgia. The study will support analysis of its current regulations to support management plan revision, which could include changes in regulations.

  • NOAA Extends Comment Period on Review of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments Designated or Expanded Since April 28, 2007

    On June 26, 2017, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration requested comments to inform the review the Department of Commerce is conducting pursuant to Executive Order 13795— Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, signed on April 28, 2017. The Department of Commerce is conducting a review of all designations and expansions of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments since April 28, 2007. On July 31, 2017, NOAA extended the public comment period by an additional 15 days. Written comments must be submitted to NOAA no later than August 15, 2017. Click here for more detail and relevant links.

  • NOAA’s Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee Meets Publicly

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced two public teleconference meetings of NOAA’s Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee two meetings via web conference calls of the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The web conference calls are open to the public; participants can dial in to the calls. Participants who choose to use the web conferencing feature in addition to the audio will be able to view the presentations as they are being given.

  • NMFS Authorizes Commercial Fireworks Displays in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

    The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has issued a Marine Mammal Protection Act Letter of Authorization to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (for the take of marine mammals incidental to commercial fireworks displays in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California. This LOA is effective from June 29, 2017 to June 28, 2022. Click here for more detail and relevant links.

  • NOAA Seeks Comment on Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary ICR

    The Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Written comments must be submitted to NOAA on or before August 21, 2017.

  • Gabon Creates largest Africa’s Largest Marine Protected Areas

    National Geographic has posted the following article by Laura Parker:

    “The central African nation of Gabon announced Monday the creation of Africa’s largest network of marine protected areas, home to a diverse array of threatened marine life, including the largest breeding populations of leatherback and olive ridley sea turtles and 20 species of dolphins and whales.

    The network of 20 marine parks and aquatic reserves will protect 26 percent of Gabon’s territorial seas and extend across 20,500 square miles (53,000 square kilometers). In creating the protected areas, the Gabon government also set up what scientists call the most sustainable fisheries management plan for West Africa—an area long known for rampant overfishing and abuses by foreign fleets. Separate zones have been established for commercial and artisanal fishing fleets, in an effort to restore sustainable fishing.”

  • Ocean Zoning Issues at the Arctic Counsel Ministerial Meeting

    The tenth Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council took place in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA from May 10-11, 2017. The Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (“PAME”) working group released 15 documents to the meeting. Several of these deliverable address ocean zoning issues.

    The PAME deliverables for the 2017 Ministerial Meeting are available here.

  • Arctic Council Project on Marine Protected Areas

    On 11 May 2017, the Foreign Ministers of the eight Arctic States will convene, together with delegations from the Council’s indigenous Permanent Participant organizations, for the tenth biennial Arctic Council Ministerial meeting. The event will be held in the John A. Carlson Community Activity Center of Fairbanks, Alaska.

    The meeting will be streamed live on the website of the U.S. Department of State and on the Arctic Council’s website. To keep apprised of ongoing updates, consider following @USArctic and @ArcticCouncil on Twitter.