News and Updates

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Posted on October 23, 2014 - 12:07pm, by nwehner

Via Salem News

"A new partnership focused on sharing information, promoting science and cooperative research, and engaging citizens in Oregon’s marine reserves and protected areas has launched.

The Oregon Marine Reserves Partnership (OMRP) was founded by six member organizations: Audubon Society of Portland, Coast Range Association, Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, Oceana, Surfrider Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy.

The OMRP was created to help implement Oregon’s marine reserves and protected areas and engage the public in their stewardship."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on October 23, 2014 - 12:04pm, by nwehner

Via The Guardian

"A UN proposal that would see small island states offered debt relief to pay for climate change contains a “fundamentally unjust” blind spot, according to development groups.

But advocates see the idea as an innovative way to increase the money available for climate change adaptation in the most vulnerable states."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on October 23, 2014 - 12:01pm, by nwehner

Via Fauna & Flora International

"The proposed establishment of a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Myeik archipelago has received enthusiastic support by participants in a workshop held recently in Myanmar’s Tanintharyi region.

The MPA has been proposed in a bid to conserve the Myeik archipelago’s unique biodiversity from the serious threats it faces, and to support sustainable fisheries.

Situated in the north-eastern Andaman Sea the archipelago comprises over 800 islands of white sandy beaches and coral reefs teeming with a diverse array of marine life."

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Posted on October 22, 2014 - 5:05am, by PJSJones

The recent much lauded announcement that the "US designates 1.2-million-km2 MPA in which all commercial extraction is banned" begs the question - How can three MPA expansions 800-1000 km apart which exclude the main fishing grounds for stocks that are known to be severely depleted be so widely and uncritically applauded? This is not a single MPA therefore the press release claim that it represents the largest MPA designation in the world is a false one that is being wrongly reinforced through uncritical repetition. These designations represents a political-economic compromise which arguably breaches the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, at least in spirit, in that it is designed to leave the grounds for a severely over-exploited fishery open to exploitation. Then there is, of course, the question of how this remote area will be enforced.


With a stroke of his pen in September, US President Barack Obama expanded the size of the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM) to 1.269 million km2, creating the world's largest MPA in which all commercial resource extraction is banned.  Commercial fishing, petroleum exploration, and deep sea mining are off-limits in the expanded MPA.

To put the MPA's expanded size in perspective: it is more than five times as large as the United Kingdom.


For nearly 30 years, dating back to its establishment under Australian law in 1975, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has served as a leader for the global community of MPA planners and managers.  With experience gained from managing one of the largest and oldest MPAs in the world, GBRMPA staff have advised multiple peer agencies worldwide and been a regular presence at international meetings.  GBRMPA programs to link land and sea conservation, particularly on water quality, and to study climate change as a threat to MPAs were among the highest-profile programs of their


Book: Economic Incentives for Marine and Coastal Conservation: Prospects, Challenges, and Implications

Edited by Essam Yassin Mohammed, 2014, Routledge, London.  The book is available at for US $37.57.

Review by Tundi Agardy, MPA News contributing editor. tundiagardy [at] earthlink [dot] net

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on October 21, 2014 - 12:38pm, by nwehner

Via Peter Sale Books

"This post first appeared as a Comment in Reef Encounter – the News journal of the International Society for Reef Studies. It is reprinted here, with added images and slight modifications to text as a way of drawing it to attention of other people interested in the global environmental crisis and the issues underlying our relative failure to look after coral reefs. Reef Encounter is open-access, and the articles are of broad interest."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on October 21, 2014 - 11:48am, by nwehner

Via The Boston Globe

"As climate change jeopardizes the huge ocean claims of tiny nations, experts propose some bold legal solutions...

For now, the island nations face the first and most basic step to securing their maritime zones: mapping them. To chart out existing ocean borders now would shore up their claims as their outlying islands become uninhabitable and their zones begin to shrink. Even this is far from trivial: An exact surveying effort involves extrapolating outer limits from base-point coordinates on shore, negotiating any overlaps with neighboring countries, and then formally depositing them with the United Nations in New York, a project beyond the technological and financial capacities of most island countries.

Blaise Kuemlangan, who works for the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and encourages Pacific Island nations to map their boundaries, expects that—unless the countries themselves or the international community make a special effort now—mapping will not be completed for at least another 20 years. By then, these islands will most likely still be inhabited. But they’ll need, even more urgently, to understand exactly what they have to trade for their future."