Top seven ocean good news stories of 2017 - Oceana Canada
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December 29, 2017

Top seven ocean good news stories of 2017

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Ocean conservation made some big waves in 2017! 

Oceana Canada is focused on protecting Canada’s coastal waters; however our work connects to ocean savers all around the world. As we kick off a new year, let’s take a moment to reflect on all that has been accomplished to help save the world’s oceans. Please also join us as a Wavemaker to make 2018 the most ocean friendly year yet! 

1. More Canadian coastal waters protected

Here in Canada, 2017 ended with more marine protected areas being announced. In total, 7.75% of Canada’s oceans are now protected. One of the areas added to the list this year was in the Laurentian Channel, which Oceana Canada explored this past summer during our Gulf of St. Lawrence Expedition. Watch a film about the expedition and get to know some of the incredible habitats that are now protected.  

2. The largest marine protected area in North America

In October, the Mexican government announced the creation of a new marine reserve in the Pacific Ocean. The Revillagigedo Marine Reserve will protect close to 92,000 square kilometres of marine habitat. No fishing, mining, or other intensive resource development will be allowed in the area. This reserve will protect the incredible biodiversity that lives in this area including sponges, corals, fish and crabs.  

3. Coral protected in the Mediterranean Sea

At a UN Environment meeting, Mediterranean countries agreed to legally protect endangered cold-water corals in the Mediterranean Sea from harmful human activity. Coral species such as cockscomb cup coral, yellow-tree coral, yellow coral and bamboo coral will have greater protection, as well the many species that depend on this habitat.

4. Chile puts a stop to bottom trawling

 Chile’s Undersecretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Pablo Berazaluce, and Executive Director of Oceana Chile, Liesbeth van der Meer, announced that 98 per cent of Chile’s ocean territory will be protected from bottom trawling. By stopping the use of destructive fishing gear, Chile will be able to freeze the fishing footprint, protecting habitat and supporting sustainably managed fisheries. 

5. Belize stops off shore oil drilling

Belize introduced historic legislation that enshrined an indefinite moratorium on offshore oil in its marine territory. By banning off shore oil drilling, Belize is protecting important ocean habitat, which includes the world’s second longest barrier reef. 

6. Greater fisheries transparency

Governments around the world are responding to the public’s demand for greater transparency in the fishing industry.  Peru and Indonesian committed to making it easier for the public to view and track fishing vessels in their coastal waters through Global Fishing Watch and in Canada, the government released key fisheries data.

7. Better understanding of the oceans

New research is shining a light on the wonders of the ocean. This past year we learned how Cephalopods alter their RNA, how whales grew so big and we discovered new marine species