• Just 4% of world’s Oceans lie within Marine Protected Areas: Study

    An article by Karan Gosal in Perfect Science states that

    A University of British Columbia study has suggested that despite global efforts to increase the area of the ocean under protection, just 4% of it is currently within marine protected areas (MPAs).

    UBC Institute for Ocean and Fisheries researchers have discovered that main swaths of the ocean still need to be protected for meeting even the most basic global targets.

    Representatives from around 200 countries met in Nagoya, Japan, in 2010, and adopted the Aichi Targets of United Nations in a bid to stem the speedy loss of biodiversity. The countries pledged to protect at least 10% of the ocean by 2020.

    Lead author Lisa Boonzaier said that the targets have called for much more than only 10% protection. She added, “They 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”.

    According to Boonzaier, it’s not that the countries just need to create more MPAs, as they also need to improve the protection they afford biodiversity by making a larger percentage of them no-take and implementing them as such.

    She said that ‘No-take’ marine protected areas are the zones where it is not allowed to extract any living resources, including fish, crustaceans, and seaweed, and non-living resources, like, oil and gas. There is just 16% of the area that is under protection, or 0.5% of the global ocean that has the designation of ‘no take’.”

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