Just 4% of our oceans is protected, it has emerged from a study conducted by the Institute for Ocean and Fisheries at the university of British Columbia (UBC).
That’s very little, given the efforts made, and so there is still a great deal of work remaining. The study results show that much must still be done just to achieve the minimum objective – stopping the downfall of ocean biodiversity.
The Aichi Targets were set in 2010 when almost 200 countries convened in Nagoya in Japan. At the meeting they accepted the Aichi-objectives in an attempt to halt the loss of biodiversity worldwide, so not just in the oceans. They agreed to protect at least 10% of the oceans by 2020 in the form of marine protected areas (MPAs). At present they are short by 6%.
Aside from the agreed-to 10%, there were also other promises. The protected areas had to be sustainably managed and ecologically representative, guaranteeing both the protection and the retention of the natural environment.
Countries must tackle the creation of the MPAs, and ‘no-take zones’ also need to be created. The extraction of living natural resources is prohibited from these no-take areas, including things such as fish, seaweed and crustaceans. Non-living resources may not be extracted either, including oil and gas. At present only 16% of protected marine areas (0.5% of all oceans) is designated as a no-take zone.
If you want to get a closer look at our oceans, then Google has compiled a showcase that allows you to discover the diverse regions and features of our oceans: Google Earth Oceans. The site not only exists to fascinate visitors such as you, it also lets you study the changes over the years.