e360.yale.edu 27th September 2010
Quoted from source:
‘A coalition of European nations has established a series of protected areas in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean where fishing would be banned, the first network of protected zones outside of the territorial waters of individual states. At a meeting in Norway, the OSPAR Commission, a coalition of 15 governments in western Europe, targeted six ecologically sensitive areas — including seamounts and sections of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge — covering about 110,000 square miles (285,000 square kilometers). The areas are home to such critical species as whales, sharks, rays, and cold-water corals. Protective measures could include permanent fishing bans, restrictions on offshore drilling and mining, and even curbs on shipping. “This is a historic step,” said Erik Solheim, Norway’s Environment minister. “We will try to inspire other nations to do the same, like in the Indian Ocean, the Pacific and other oceans.” The only other marine protected area in the high seas is a 31,000 square-mile reserve off Antarctica, but the zones created by the European states represent the first network of marine protected areas outside of territorial waters’.