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Pacific islands set example in protecting ocean for generations to come by Carlotta Leon Guerrero May 12,2019   |  Source: The Guam Daily Post

The greatest biological outcomes come from fully protected areas where all forms of fishing are restricted, like in the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, which comprises 80% of Palau’s national waters. There are also benefits to restricting the most damaging forms of fishing, like on the other side of the ocean in Chile, where the Rapa Nui people recently agreed to restrict industrial fishing in the entirety of their biologically unique waters, and only allow traditional artisanal fishing.

At the same time, a group of Island Voices ambassadors has formed, coming from Palau, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and Rapa Nui. The group includes artists, educators, fishers, former government officials, and traditional voyagers, who are committed to protecting the unique identity of the Pacific and its islands and are working together to link traditional values with modern decision-making.

It’s a start, but if we are going to save the rich ecological abundance of the Pacific for future generations, we will have to think even bigger, working toward protecting 30% of the Pacific. Today, just under 5% of the ocean is designated within the confines of a marine protected area, and only about half of that area is fully


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