Kiribati, an island of 100K in the South Pacific, just banned commercial fishing. That seems like a big step.

Here’s the article, and here’s the money quote:

“If you think of the ocean as a bank account in which everybody withdraws but nobody makes a deposit, then protected marine reserves are like savings accounts that produce interest,” Sala told the conference.

Sadly, that is how most people view the ocean.

What Kiribati did was to end commercial fishing in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, as well as the area around the Southern Line Islands. This goes into effect in 2015. That area is about as large as California — whoa — but sits in the south Pacific; as recently as 2008, it was the largest marine protected area in the world. They had measures in place that claimed to protect the area, but in reality, only about three percent of the area was actually being protected; the rest was being exploited, primarily by tuna fishermen. Come 2015, the entire thing should be safe. This is a big step for re-adjusting the ecosystems of the South Pacific and general “best ocean practices.” 

If this is the first time you’ve ever heard of Kiribati — which only has 100K people — check this out too (I had never heard of Kiribati until 10 minutes ago):

(It will clearly be drastically affected by climate change, but … this is a positive step in terms of taking a leadership role on treatment of the oceans.)


Ted Bauer