The United States has announced that it will create the largest marine reserve in the world by expanding an existing monument around U.S.-controlled islands and atolls in the central Pacific. (National Geographic)
Use our resources to learn more about marine protected areas and how they are managed. (And scroll down for some beautiful photos!)
Today’s current-event connection was written by Nat Geo Education’s once-and-future ocean authority, Julie Brown.
- Read through the National Geographic News article outlining the expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. The monument has strict rules, including prohibitions on fishing, dumping, and mining. In most marine protected areas (MPAs), these laws are administered by law-enforcement officers on boats. Why do you think fishing bans are going to be a challenge to enforce in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument?
- The reserve is simply too big to monitor all the time. An area nearly three times the size of California is cost-prohibitive, impractical, and ineffective for boat patrols.
- What are some ways the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument could be monitored using technology?
- Drones and satellites can be used to monitor vessels entering reserve boundaries. Learn about National Geographic Emerging Explorer Shah Selbe’s work developing specialized, affordable drones for MPA monitoring, and his organization, SoarOcean.
- According to the Nat Geo News article, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is actively pursuing ratification of the Port State Measures Agreement. How would this international treaty help protect the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and other MPAs around the world?
- The Port State Measures Agreement would require member nations to prevent illegally caught fish from entering the market. Fish brought to market by poacher would be unsellable, causing substantial loss of revenue for poachers and therefore creating a major financial deterrent for fishing in reserves.
- In simple terms: No market, no sale, no money—poachers won’t make the same mistake twice!