• 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.

  • 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:

    CONSERVATION IN THE LIGHT OF MARINE SPATIAL USE
    INVITED KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

    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.