Each photo is by Charmaine Coimbra. These photos were shot with either a 300 mm or 40-150 mm lens. Regulations and guidelines have been developed with specific recommendations and distances for viewing whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, sea… Read More ›
Marine Protected Area
The commercial fishing industry had opposed the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, saying that prohibiting commercial fishing in the two areas would cripple the industry. But according to Brad Sewell, oceans attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, two years after designating those protected areas, the numbers tell a different story.
The three-million-acre monument was designated in September 2016 by former-president Barrack Obama under authority granted by the 1906 Antiquities Act. Since then, commercial fishing, with the exception of lobster and red crab fishing, has been banned within the monuments boundaries.
In Zinke’s report, he recommends the authority for regulating fishing in the area be returned to the New England Fishery Management Council, which was established under the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
The oceans have absorbed a third of all the carbon dioxide emitted since the Industrial Revolution and have helped deflect extreme warming. But recent research has shown that climate change has made seawater acidity rise faster than at any time in the last 55 million years, with unpredictable and potentially disastrous consequences for life. What can we do?
Oceans offer natural benefits that sustain coastal economies, provide diverse opportunities for the tourism sector and help to protect communities against natural disasters, amongst other benefits. Therefore, maintaining the health of these marine ecosystems is essential.
“Today’s action by British Prime Minister David Cameron will protect the true bounty of the Pitcairn Islands — the array of unique marine life in the surrounding pristine seas,” said National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala, head of the Society’s Pristine Seas project. “Our scientific exploration of the area revealed entirely new species as well as an abundance of top predators like sharks. It was like traveling to a new world full of hidden and unknown treasures, a world that will now be preserved for generations to come.”