• 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.

  • Marine Protected Area FACA Committee Meeting

    The Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee will meet in Annapolis, Maryland on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday, May 24, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Annapolis Maritime Museum at 723 Second Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21403.  Click here for more details and relevant links.

  • Comment on NOAA’s ICR for Marine Sanctuary Nominations

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration asks the public to comment on NOAA’s proposed Information Collection for national marine sanctuary nominations received pursuant to NOAA regulations that provide that the public may nominate special places of the marine environment through the sanctuary nomination process, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Written comments must be submitted on or before June 12, 2017. Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at pracomments@doc.gov).

    Click here for more details and relevant links.

  • Marine Protected Areas Underfunded and Understaffed

    A new research study, “Capacity shortfalls hinder the performance of marine protected areas globally,” by D.A. Gill, included the following conclusions about marine protected areas globally:

    • About 65 percent of the 433 surveyed MPAs reportedly suffered from inadequate budget for the management of the protected areas.
    • Nearly 91 percent of MPAs lacked sufficient staff to carry out critical management activities.
    • The findings suggest that effective biodiversity conservation is not just dependent on environmental conditions or MPA features (such as MPA size, fishing regulations), but is also heavily dependent on available capacity.

    Click here for an article about this study and its implications.

  • ECS Conference on Conservation in the Light of Marine Spatial Use

    The European Cetacean Society distributed the following press release:

    “ECS, Danish Marine Mammal Society and Aarhus University invites you to attend the 31st Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society at

    Hindsgavl Castle, Middelfart, Denmark

    Main conference will be on 1-3 May, 2017

    Workshops will take place on 29-30 April, 2017

    This year’s theme is:


    Professor Lars Bejder, Murdoch University, Cetacean Research Unit, Australia

    Dr. Asha De Vos, Post-doctoral scholar, University of California, Santa Cruz

    Dr. Len Thomas, University of St. Andrews, Scotland.”

  • World’s Largest Marine Protected Area

    The Free Speech Radio News recently published an interview regarding  “the world’s largest marine protected area…recently created in the Ross Sea at Antarctica.  More than 1.5 million square kilometers, or 600,000 square miles, of the Southern Ocean will gain protection from commercial fishing for 35 years.” Click here to access this interview.

  • Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee Renewed

    The U.S. Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce has published its renewal of the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The Committee’s revised charter is available here. OAS’ Federal Register notice of the renewal, which contains more information and relevant links, is here.

  • National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council Openings

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, is seeking applications for vacant seats for six of its 13 national marine sanctuary advisory councils and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; views regarding the protection and management of marine or Great Lakes resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants chosen as members or alternates should expect to serve two or three-year terms, pursuant to the charter of the specific national marine sanctuary advisory council or Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council. Applications are due before or by Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

  • NMFS Seeks comments on Petition to Establish Southern Resident Killer Whales Protection Zone in San Juan Islands

    The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a petition for rulemaking to establish a whale protection zone in the San Juan Islands, Washington, to support recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales. NMFS requests comments on the petition and will consider all comments and available information when determining whether to accept the petition and proceed with the suggested rulemaking. The closing date for comments on the petition is April 13, 2017.  Click here for more details.

  • Government of Canada is Consulting on New Proposed Marine Protected Area

    Canada issued the following Press Release:

    “OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Dec. 19, 2016) – Canada is taking action to protect marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and special natural features by proposing St. Anns Bank in Nova Scotia as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) under Canada’s Oceans Act.

    Located east of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, St. Anns Bank has many ecologically significant features, including unique habitats and areas of high biodiversity and biological productivity. It is home to a number of at-risk species such as the Atlantic wolffish and is a summer foraging area for the endangered leatherback turtle.