This news came via a friend, but I’ve yet to see the offical guidelines for it. The MCS article below notes it will be off-limits to all extractive and damaging activities. Quite how that will work and be enforced remains to be seen; the Pacific Ocean is the focus of major industrial fisheries, being one of the few places globally where fish remain.
Notwithstanding that: Oceania and its Large Ocean States are way ahead in the global effort to protect our oceans. Kiribati declared the world’s largest marine reserve in the Phoenix Islands (2008); New Caledonia created the world’s largest marine reserve in 2014; Palau will ban commercial fishing in its EEZ (2014). Cook Islands declared the world’s largest marine park in 2012 ::: this one has yet to be implemented and seems likely to allow continued industrial fishing, tourism and the new threat of deep-sea mining ~ so the exact nature of its ‘protection’ remains to be seen. Australia and New Zealand have large marine protected areas scattered around their coastlines. French Polynesia is now looking to protect the Marquesas and Austral archipelagos; the USA has hopped onboard with some of their geostrategic Remote Island Territories, and had previously closed sea areas around Hawai’i to fisheries during a sea turtle migration period. So we can seriously applaud the race to create the next ‘biggest protected marine area’ ::: while we thoughtfully consider the question of ‘”exactly where are the commercial fishing nations going to operate?” Good effort to all, Mike 🙂