News and Updates

In the News
Posted on November 19, 2012 - 10:54am, by nwehner

The Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) organized a small informal discussion among civil society organizations to discuss how oceans-related issues might be incorporated in the proposed new global sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Representatives of organizations working on issues such as environment, animal welfare, law, health, and local fisheries participated. This included groups working at the local, national, EU and international levels.

Please download the attached PDF for the full, three-page report.

In the News
Posted on November 19, 2012 - 9:41am, by nwehner

The Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources has promulgated new regulations protecting these rare marine species which took effect on November 11, 2012. American Samoa has acted to protect all sharks plus three species of large coral reef fish in all the waters of the territory of American Samoa. It is now illegal to catch or even possess:

Blogger picture
Posted on November 16, 2012 - 4:22pm, by JGardner

Canada’s Cohen Commission calls on government to implement the Wild Salmon Policy

By Julie Gardner, Dovetail Consulting, jgardner [at]

As an environmental policy and planning consultant, I have to accept that the fruits of my labors can end up sitting on shelves. It hurt when one policy into which I and many others had invested much effort didn’t gather the momentum it deserved: Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon (the Wild Salmon Policy). Recently, however, a federal Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of the Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River (the Cohen Commission, named for its commissioner, Justice Bruce Cohen of the British Columbia Supreme Court) felt my pain. A key recommendation calls on the federal government to fully implement and fund the 2005 Wild Salmon Policy.

In the News
Posted on November 16, 2012 - 9:36am, by nwehner

The following is the opening section of the new book The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea, by Callum Roberts. It is reprinted here by OpenChannels with permission from Viking Press. 

The water felt chilly as I waded out to fetch the battered skiff from its mooring. It slid easily over the glassy lagoon to the beach, where Julie waited with our diving gear. We had been married a month, and in lieu of a honeymoon I had persuaded her to accept two months of fieldwork studying fish behavior on this remote patch of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It was June 1987, winter in Australia and summer back home. Two herons picked their way along the shoreline looking for breakfast. They flapped off as the outboard engine coughed to life, and we set course for a spot a mile away, across a maze of coral so complex that it would have baffled the most capable navigator.

We anchored on a rubble ridge that separated the lagoon from the open sea. This was our first ocean dive here, and the thrill of expectation was tempered by a frisson of fear. Ahead of us the homely greens and browns of the shallow reef gave way to the dark indigo of the deep. Huge buttresses of coral plunged down hundreds of feet in parallel walls separated by deep channels. Vivid purple finger-corals vied for space with yellow lettuce-coral, while great mounds of blue and green polyps rose from the bottom.

MPA News

When calculating global MPA coverage, what sites to include is a central question

In the 13 years since we started publication, the MPA News team has generally taken an inclusive view of what counts as a marine protected area. Gear closures, temporary closures, underwater cultural sites, closed areas around military bases - we have drawn lessons from all of these at one time or another.

MPA News

Editor's note: Anton Wijonarno is Marine Biodiversity and Programme Monitoring Manager for WWF-Indonesia.

By Anton Wijonarno

Indonesia has a system of marine protected areas that was designed in 1984, and mandated to be managed by the Ministry of Forestry and Nature Conservation. Challenged with limited resources to implement marine conservation, this ministry collaborates closely with several national and international conservation NGOs to build the capacity of its park staff and operations.