On October 22, 2013, news coming from the 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC 3) reported that Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), have launched 31 new Mission Blue Hope Spots -- places of special significance in the ocean where Mission Blue will focus its efforts. There are now 50 Hope Spots globally. Mission Blue calls this “a path forward for protecting our Blue Heart.”
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is now home to the world’s largest shark sanctuary. The Nitijela, the Marshallese parliament, unanimously passed legislation last week that ends commercial fishing of sharks in all 1,990,530 square kilometers (768,547 square miles) of the central Pacific country’s waters, an ocean area four times the landmass of California.
Matt Rand, director of Global Shark Conservation for the Pew Environment Group, issued the following statement on 7 September 2011 in response to the shark sanctuary designation made by Tokelau, an island territory in the South Pacific.
President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes on July 19, 2010. That Executive Order adopts the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force and directs Federal agencies to take the appropriate steps to implement them.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on October 8, 2009 announced the designation of critical habitat for the southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment of the northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.
By designating these areas as national monuments, the Administration ensures that the marine environment will receive the highest level of environmental recognition and conservation.
The small Pacific Island nation of Kiribati has become a global conservation leader by declaring the Phoenix Islands a protected area to ensure its biological diversity and sustainability.
A citizen advisory council assisted the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in developing the Sanctuary management plan. This council made recommendations to NOAA on the preferred components of the plan. One of these components was the zoning action plan, which designated five individual zone types in which certain activities were restricted.
The Bonaire Marine Park is considered by many to be one of the world's most successful marine protected areas (MPAs). Bryant et al (1998) estimate that there are at least 400 MPAs including coral reefs in more than 65 countries and territories. However, many MPAs exist only as "paper parks" where legislation is not enforced, resources are lacking and management plans are not properly carried out.