Earth Enjoys a Surge of Ocean Sanctuaries

A green sea turtle swims under Midway Island Pier at Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. (Photo:Greg McFall./NOAA)

Earth is on the brink of a sea change. Its oceans are still mostly wild, without the obvious human footprint often seen on land, but they're also increasingly plagued by human-induced dangers such as climate change, overfishing and plastic.

Yet despite our inertia on many terrestrial issues like air pollution or deforestation, we're actually building some momentum for saving the seas. It's just a drop in the bucket so far, but the recent pace of ocean protection is promising nonetheless.

The past several years have brought a surge of new marine sanctuaries around the world, including sprawling reserves near新喀里多尼亚夏威夷and南极洲每个覆盖约500,000平方英里。加蓬,基里巴斯和帕劳的国家都有巨大的新避难所,而U.K.最近批准了322,000平方英里的储备Pitcairn Islands。保护主义者现在致力于串联一系列海洋保护区来建立30,000岛太平洋海景

World leaders set aside roughly 2 million square miles of ocean in 2016, a sizable increase from the previous record of 730,000 square miles protected in 2015. And much more could be in the offing, since the United Nations has set a goal ofprotecting 10 percent of the ocean作为2020年的海洋保护区。

为了纪念这一趋势 - 凭借它意味着潮汐正在转向更健康的水生栖息地 - 这是一个仔细的看待一些被保存的领域:

Mexico

Revillagigedo Islands
Mexico's Revillagigedo Islands were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016 and a marine national park in 2017. (Photo: Presidencia de la República Mexicana/Flickr)

它可能小于其他一些最近创造的海洋储备,但墨西哥西海岸的Revillagigo群岛现在是北美最大的海洋保护区。2017年11月由墨西哥总统恩尼亚尼耶托宣布,受保护区距离雷索格群岛群岛周围的太平洋有57,000平方英里(15万平方公​​里),距离Baja California半岛西南有近250英里(400公里)。

此举禁止所有捕捞活动,以及岛上的资源开采和新酒店的开发。围绕四火山群岛以四个火山群岛为中心的地区,由于其独特的地质和生态而被昵称为“北美的加拉帕戈斯”。岛屿位于两个海洋电流的融合,为数百种植物和动物物种创造了绿洲,包括鲸鱼,海龟,海鸟和大约400种鱼类。该地区的许多商业有价值的鱼种和庇护所 - 这将被墨西哥海军巡逻 - 这是为了经过多年不可持续的收获而保护它们。

The move was quickly heralded by conservationists. "Revillagigedo, the crown jewel of Mexican waters, will now be fully protected thanks to the vision and leadership of President Peña Nieto," says Mario Gómez, executive director of the Mexican conservation group Beta Diversidad, in a陈述。“我们为保护该地区的海洋生物提供了保护,并为整个太平洋迁徙的物种的重要连通性,保存。”

南极洲

Photo: AndreAnita/Shutterstock.com

特别是巨大的海洋避难所成立于2016年10月下旬,当时24个国家和欧洲联盟达成协议,以保护60万平方英里的南极洲的罗斯海。这大约是德克萨斯州大小的两倍,使这个最大的自然属于地球的任何地方。移动禁令商业捕鱼,保护该地区丰富的原生海洋生物。

有时被称为“Last Ocean,“罗斯海的最后一个延伸relatively untouched by humans and undamaged by overfishing, pollution or invasive species, according to the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition. It's home to a广泛的野生动物种类那including at least 10 mammals, half a dozen birds, 95 fish and more than 1,000 invertebrates. Popular animal residents range from Adelie and emperor penguins to minke whales, orcas and leopard seals.

“罗斯海被广泛认为是地球上最后一个伟大的荒野地区,称为伊甸园的极地”田园“,”据来自联合国环境规划署的声明(UNEP). The agreement is impressive considering we live in a time of "strained political relations," as UNEP Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh said in a statement. Russia and China were holdouts until the very end.

United States

夏威夷大胆在Papahānaumokuākea海洋国家纪念碑
A Hawaiian gallinule wades through shallow waters in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. (Photo: UNESCO/Wikimedia Commons)

In September 2016, U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled the first海洋国家纪念碑在大西洋。The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument will protect 4,913 square miles of marine ecosystems off the coast of New England from commercial activity and development. According to the White House, this includes "three underwater canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon, and four underwater mountains known as 'seamounts' that are biodiversity hotspots and home to many rare and endangered species."

之前的一个月,奥巴马也建立了now second-largest ocean sanctuary on the planet:夏威夷的Papahānaumokuākea海军陆战士,这是地球最大的2006年由乔治·W·布什总统创作。但随着保护海洋的普及在过去十年中,它在世界上已经陷入了第十位 - 因此,因此,奥巴马在一次下跌的巨大巨大的大小。

"[N]ew scientific exploration and research has revealed new species and deep sea habitats as well as important ecological connections between the existing monument and the adjacent waters," the White House explained. "Today's designation will expand the existing Marine National Monument by 442,781 square miles, bringing the total protected area of the expanded monument to 582,578 square miles."

鱼在papahānaumokuākea海洋国家纪念碑
Fish shelter under coral at Rapture Reef in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. (Photo: Greg McFall/NOAA)

这种扩张意味着papahānaumokuākea甚至比附近的太平洋偏远岛屿海军国民纪念碑大,因为奥巴马在2014年扩大后,它在地球最大的海洋储备时自行推动.Papahānaumokuākea为超过7,000种野生动物提供关键的栖息地保护。包括几种濒危物种——如夏威夷僧海豹,莱桑鸭子,绿色sea turtles and leatherback sea turtles, among others — as well as the longest-living marine species on Earth, black coral, which can live for 4,500 years. Protecting this much ocean habitat also provides a buffer against ocean acidification, boosting the resilience of many species by giving them more space to adapt.

举行禁令所有商业资源提取 - 包括商业捕鱼和任何未来的采矿活动 - 虽然它仍然允许一些休闲捕捞,以及去除夏威夷文化实践的野生动物。该地区具有突出的文化和历史意义,白宫指出,周围的陆地和水的大部分地区都是天然夏威夷社区的神圣。

“夏威夷西北群岛是全球最多样化,威胁的生态系统之一,以及夏威夷本土社区的神圣场所,”美国室内秘书莎莉·贾斯尔在一份声明中表示。“奥巴马总统的扩张Papahānaumokuākea海洋国家纪念碑将永久保护原始珊瑚礁,深海海洋栖息地和重要的文化和历史资源,以获得当代和后代的利益。”

这是一瞥of how big Papahānaumokuākea is.

在2015年我们的海洋会议上,美国在马里兰州和威斯康星州也揭开了一对小额保留,这将是15年来的第一个新的美国庇护所。与Papahānaumokuākea相比,它们是微小的,并且可能弯曲“海洋”的技术定义,但两者都与历史性沉船和野生动物相比。两者也被美国公众提名,部分政策转变的部分意味着加强与联邦保护努力的婚姻。

马尔斯湾沉船
低潮揭示了马里兰州马尔瓦湾的沉船的船体。 (Photo: Don Shomette/NOAA)

In Wisconsin, theproposed sanctuarySpans 875平方英里(2,266平方公里)的密歇根海岸线,一个包含39个已知沉船的地区,包括在国家历史名册中列出的15个。档案和考古证据表明,根据美国国家海洋和大气管理局(NOAA)的说法,该地区也可能持有未被发现的沉船,其中指出该提案“接受了社区的巨大支持”。

In Maryland, theMallows Bay-Potomac River网站占地14平方英里的潮波托马克河,一个有价值的河口,位于国家以南南部约40英里。它的沉船收藏率近200艘船舶,范围从革命战争到现代,包括在第一次世界大战期间建造的木制轮船最大的“幽灵舰队”。它也是“一个主要的未开发的景观和水景,被确定为最生态的最有价值的景观和水景。在马里兰州,“Noaa指出”,因为该船仍然为鱼类和野生动物提供重要的栖息地,包括罕见,威胁和濒危物种。“

Chile

Easter Island moai
Ancient moai statues loom over the coast of Easter Island, which has been plagued by illegal fishing. (照片:Shutterstock)

Also in late 2015, Chile introduced a new marine park spanning more than 243,000 square miles (630,000 square km) around Easter Island, located about 2,300 miles off the Chilean mainland. The area has been rife with illegal fishing lately, according to local anglers and environmental advocates, so a main goal of this preserve is to banish industrial trawlers while still allowing local, smaller-scale fishing near shore.

Unveiled by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet at Our Oceans 2015, the preserve will be the "third-largest fully protected area of ocean in the world,"根据PEW慈善信托。它有142种原生物种,其中27个受到威胁或濒临灭绝的。该公园由复活节岛的土着rapa nui人提出,其代表拍了和唱歌公告后。

"World famous for its Moai statues, Easter Island will now be known as a global leader in ocean conservation," says Pew vice president Joshua S. Reichert, who leads the nonprofit group's environmental work. "This announcement is an important step toward establishing the world's first generation of great parks in the sea."

除了复活节岛外,Bachelet还宣布了海洋保护区Islas de los Desventurados("Unfortunate Islands"), located about 500 miles off Chile's coast. The volcanic islands are uninhabited by people, aside from one Chilean Navy unit, but they're animportant habitat for seabirds。智利官员表示,这两个公园将覆盖超过100万平方公里(386,000平方英里)。

New Zealand

deep-sea urchins
深海血管从新西兰Kermadec弧的海底在海底生长。 (照片:Noaa)

近年来创造的许多最大的海洋公园都在南太平洋,但总有更多的空间。2015年9月,新西兰总理约翰威士透露计划创造世界上最大的一个,跨越620,000平方公里(240,000平方英里)在Kermadec群岛周围

Kermadecs被认为是大约1,000公里(620英里)的新西兰,被认为是生物多样性和地质的宝石。岛弧迎来了几十多种鲸鱼和海豚,150种鱼类,以及三种星球七种海龟物种。它还包括最长已知的水下火山链和地球上的第二最深的海洋沟。

据报道,覆盖了新西兰陆地大小的面积两倍,据报道,避免所有捕鱼以及任何石油,天然气或矿物质发展。

"The Kermadecs is a world-class, unspoiled marine environment and New Zealand is proud to protect it for future generations," Key told the U.N. general assembly in New York. "Creating protected areas will support not only our own fisheries, but those of our Pacific neighbors, adding to New Zealand's efforts to help grow Pacific economies through the responsible management of their ocean resources."

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值得注意的是,海洋储备不能单独拯救海洋,特别是来自加热和酸化的全球威胁。即使他们的有效性也因地方而异,这取决于当地执法的能力。但是当管理井时,他们可以缓冲关键的生物多样性热点,在更换偷猎者时给野生动物更多空间better-paying eco-tourists

令人惊叹的假期只是冰山一角。随着世界领导人现在意识到,海洋健康是一种经济优先权以及生态学。

“我们的经济体,我们的生计和我们的食物都取决于我们的海洋,”奥巴马在2015年我们的海洋会议上在视频信息中表示,由复活节岛市长佩德罗·埃德蒙兹·埃德·埃德蒙兹·德蒙德斯呼应的主题。

“海洋是我们文化的基础和我们的生计,”Paoa在一份声明中说。“Rapa Nui社区非常自豪地为这个海洋公园感到非常自豪,这将保护我们的水域来到几代人。”