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Global ocean conservation efforts are on the verge of a major advance

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Two major advances in global ocean governance are developing and offering hope humanity can begin to repair global seas. The first encouraging policy development is set up of massive marine protected areas of unprecedented size. The biggest of these newly proposed mega-marine protected areas, the Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve, is three-and-a-half times larger than the United Kingdom, and more than 100,000 times larger than the historical median size for an ocean protected area. The second key development is that the United Nations is now drawing up a treaty to manage biodiversity across the high seas. These new regulations are focused on preserving marine biodiversity, establishing international ocean reserves, evaluating processes for sharing marine genetic resources, and effectively carrying out environmental impact assessments. Both of these advancements rely on new satellite-based technologies and newly available online data. Ocean-observation data is essential to effectively monitoring and controlling the industrialization of the oceans.

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