With just weeks to go before IGC3, the Greenpeace ship Esperanza steamed into the Sargasso Sea in early August to begin the third leg of their ambitious Pole to Pole expedition. Part of Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign to raise global support for a new UN global ocean treaty, the nearly year-long expedition will sail from the Arctic to Antarctica, documenting special ocean places on the high seas and the threats they face.
On May 15-17, 2019 a group of experts in ocean science, policy, law and communications convened in Denver, Colorado to launch the Coral Reefs on the High Seas Coalition, a global alliance of partners that seeks to support the establishment of the first large-scale marine protected areas (MPAs) that would protect mesophotic coral reefs in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
In late February, Foreign Affairs Peru, Foreign Affairs Colombia and HSA members (AIDA, MarViva Foundation, Global Fishing Watch, IUCN, and the Pew Charitable Trusts, among others) organized the Science Tour “Towards the Negotiation of a New Instrument for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction.”
Source: TRT World
The High Seas are a vast expanse of water and home to 90 percent of marine life but are largely unregulated. Fishing, research, deep-sea mining – all can take place at the expense of the environment. Now the United Nations has launched negotiations for an international treaty to protect the oceans.
Author: Matt McGrath
The first significant steps towards legally protecting the high seas are to take place at the UN in New York.
These waters, defined as the open ocean far from coastlines, are threatened by deep-sea mining, over-fishing and the patenting of marine genetic resources.
Marine Conservation Institute (MCI) continues its support of a strong UN treaty that will create lasting protections for high seas biodiversity, through its research, mapping and communications. By using its expertise in Geographic Information Systems and mapping, MCI’s scientists identify the locations of indicator species, mainly cold-water corals and sponges, that can be used to establish protections for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) and protect the high seas. Its efforts to develop species distribution models help map species, and these provide international authorities with essential information for implementing protection measures. The Atlas of Marine Protection (MPAtlas.org) initiative is also a hub for tracking and analyzing VMEs and other high seas protection measures.
Findings support urgent need for heightened high seas governance and conservation
New York, Wednesday 11th July 1901hrs – As States meet at the United Nations for the final round of negotiations towards a possible high seas treaty, a new scientific review of recent ocean research shows more clearly than ever the importance of ocean services, its critical role to humankind and the rate and scale of the changes occurring due to climate change and other human impacts.
Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts
Author: Liz Karen
Protecting marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction
In June 2015, world leaders made the extraordinary decision to develop an international agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, including the high seas. These areas make up two-thirds of the world’s ocean but are managed by a patchwork of bodies that regulate fishing, mining, shipping, and other activities for specific areas of the ocean. These bodies lack the legal mandate to establish comprehensive marine protected areas and marine reserves, or other conservation policies to protect biodiversity throughout an ecosystem. The new treaty could help to close these gaps in global ocean governance and deliver much-needed protection to the world’s ocean. However, the success of the agreement will be determined by negotiations continuing through 2017 at the United Nations Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meetings, which will set the stage for a formal treaty.
Home to extraordinary biological diversity, the ocean is also the world’s largest active carbon sink. Blue carbon refers to carbon associated with the ocean. Blue carbon encompasses carbon capture by plankton, algae and bacteria; capture and long-term storage by complex plants and their ecosystems in coastal regions; and carbon pathways, pumps and trophic cascades associated with larger marine animals.
The Costa Rica Thermal Dome (CRTD), in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, is a unique oceanographic feature formed by the interconnection of winds and currents; and as a result, the Dome is a geographically mobile area with ambulatory boundaries. Its size and position vary throughout the year, yet approximately 70% of the CRTD occurs on areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), including its core, which is situated circa 9º N y 90º W. The remaining extension straddles the jurisdictional waters of the Central American countries.