What began as a plea has now turned into a monumental marine movement. Conservation of our oceans is one of the major concerns and steps are currently underway to end commercial fishing in the Phoenix Islands Protection Area which is located in the Central Pacific. It is comparable in size to California and in the throws of becoming an even larger and more expansive marine sanctuary. It has inspired Chile to follow suit by taking their own steps to deter unregulated fishing that continues to grow.
After the global 'Our Ocean' conference, held this past June, there was a positive outpouring of support by nations, marine scientists and ocean activists. Other countries were eager to create new marine reserves and take measures to protect the precious marine life. For example, Norway has decided to spend $1 million on the study of plastic trash which is a huge contributor in polluting the world's oceans.
Now President Obama and his administration are looking to expand the reserve by leaps and bounds in the Central Pacific area, ultimately making it one of the largest marine reserves in the entire world. On any given day, you will find swordfish, tuna, five species of sea turtles, 22 species of protected marine mammals, 19 species of seabirds and some of the most beautiful underwater scenery that is sure to leave you in awe. Even the coral reefs are magnificent.
It may or may not come as a surprise that as the next few decades go by, our oceans will be in dire shape if we don't take action now. The oceans could be all fished out in a matter of time and the beauty of our coral reefs lost forever. Since the United States has such a large stake in the oceans, this is one of the most opportune times to move forward and take action.
Right now the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument extends 87,000 square miles and the goal is to expand the boundaries over 782,000 square miles of federal waters. This would serve as an area that would be totally off limits to such threatening activities such as fishing and energy exploration.
For those with their heart in ocean conservation, more measures are possibly out there on the horizon. Proposing brand new U.S. marine sanctuaries, research to determine the impact of ocean acidification are two strong areas that are beginning to get more widespread attention.
Every day that we dive, snorkel, swim or take part in any of the soothing water sports that shape us, we must realize that by doing our part, it gives the marine environment a fighting chance and the difference is in what we decide to do.