Our Ocean Conference: Commitments on the PSM Agreement and expansion of marine protected areas

Further commitments by states at the Our Ocean Conference (16-17th June) to ratify the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSM Agreement), will bring the PSM Agreement closer to entry into force – with nearly half the required number of parties. A Presidential Memorandum by US President Barack Obama, demonstrated continued commitment to seek congressional ratification of the PSM Agreement. As reported by the US Department of State, several states have made, or are shortly forthcoming, commitments to expanded marine protected areas (MPA) within the Pacific Ocean. This includes commitments by the Cook Islands, Bahamas and Palau – with a total area covered at approximately 3 million square kilometers. Should the announced USA Pacific Ocean MPA be formally adopted, it will replace the New Caledonia Coral Sea Nature Park as the World’s largest MPA. More information on this conference (attended by approximately 400 government officials, marine experts and conservation organizations from 80 countries) to be found here.

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