Friday, 27 June 2014

While right-wing Coalition governments around Australia dismantle environmental protections the U.S. Obama Administration promises to create world's largest marine sanctuary

National Geographic 17 June 2014:

U.S. President Barack Obama announced a plan for creating the world's largest marine sanctuary on Tuesday, covering hundreds of thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean, along with new pledges to fight illegal fishing and seafood fraud.
Obama's proposal would expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the central Pacific from around 87,000 square miles to nearly 782,000 square miles (225,000 to 2 million square kilometers).
It would make the monument the largest protected area on the planet—either on land or in the sea—and two times larger than the currently largest protected area, which is in Greenland. (See: "U.S. Invites Public to Submit Nominations for Marine Sanctuaries.") The sanctuary would cover the full 200-mile (322-kilometer) U.S. exclusive economic zone around seven uninhabited islands and atolls.
"I'm using my authority as president to protect some of our nation's most pristine marine monuments, just like we do on land," Obama said in a taped message to the State Department's Our Ocean conference in Washington on Tuesday.
"We know how fragile our blue planet can be," the president said, pointing to threats like ocean acidification, overfishing, and pollution. "If we ignore these problems, we won't just be squandering one of humanity's greatest treasures, we'll be cutting off one of our major sources of food and economic growth."….

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