Gray reef Sharks swimming through the coral forests. Creative Commons: USFWS.

World’s Largest Marine Reserve

July 12, 2015

World’s Largest Marine Reserve

The Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument will conserve in perpetuity 1.2 million square kilometers, making it the largest marine reserve in the world. The monument will protect 5,000 year-old coral forests and provide refuge for an array of endangered species.

Oceans 5 is an international funders’ collaborative comprised of new and experienced philanthropists dedicated to protecting the world’s five oceans. Investments and support go towards large opportunistic projects and campaigns to establish marine reserves and constrain overfishing. LDF has been a Founding partner in Oceans 5 since 2011.

Oceans 5 is inspired by projects that provide multiple benefits to the oceans, fishermen, and coastal communities. Since inception, the Board has approved twenty projects including:

  • Protecting Antarctica – To create the world’s largest marine reserves in the Ross Sea and East Antarctica through grants to the Antarctic Ocean Alliance – a coalition of organizations working in multiple countries;
  • Improving Seafood Traceability in the United States – To constrain illegal fishing by creating new traceability requirements for seafood sold in the United States through grants to four leading organizations;
  • Reducing Unsustainable Shark Trade – To secure trade restrictions for five species of sharks from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered 
Species (CITES) through a grant to a coalition of six organizations working on five continents;
  • Creating a Marine Park in the Cook Islands – To establish a world class marine 
reserve in the South Pacific through grants to a local organization and traditional 
Maori leaders;
  • Constraining Illegal Fishing in the Eastern Tropical Pacific – To implement new 
accountability and control regimes for fishing vessels and ports of entry, while promoting new enforcement actions at marine reserves in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador, through grants to three leading organizations in the region;
  • Strengthening High Seas Governance – To support the independent Global Ocean Commission to reduce overfishing, constrain illegal fishing, and establish marine reserves through a grant to a university in the United Kingdom;
  • Protecting the Seychelles – To support development of a “debt swap” that will establish the second largest marine reserve in the Indian Ocean and create a permanent trust fund for marine conservation through a grant to two organizations;
  • Protecting the Arctic – To secure almost a dozen new marine reserves in Russia, Canada, and Greenland through grants to national and local organizations;
  • Expanding Protections in the United States’ Remote Pacific Islands – To support executive action by President Obama to establish the world’s largest fully protected area through grants to multiple organizations working in Hawaii.

Expected 2015 – 2016 Outcomes: Several Oceans 5 projects will likely produce significant results over the next year, including:

  • Promulgating draft regulations to improve seafood traceability in the United States, likely in the fall of 2015;
  • Initiating formal international negotiations to conserve high seas biodiversity through an implementing agreement to the Law of the Sea, likely in September 2015;
  • Creating the second largest marine reserve in the Indian Ocean, likely in December 2015;
  • Adopting new legislation in the Cook Islands to create a marine park, likely by the summer of 2015;
  • Completion of a radar facility at Cocos Island in Costa Rica to combat illegal fishing;
  • Establishing at least one new marine monument in the United States, likely in the Atlantic Canyon and Seamount area off Cape Cod in October 2015;
  • Establishing one or two large marine reserves in the Ross Sea or East Antarctica, likely in the fall of 2015.

Related News

Tamminen: Trump can create 15 x the number of jobs by investing in clean energy

Following his meeting with President-elect Trump, Terry Tamminen talks about how the administration might succeed in delivering on the campaign promise to boost the economy and U.S. jobs through renewable energy.

New documentary “Before The Flood” to air globally on NatGeo on October 30th

Before the Flood presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet.

Leonardo addresses key issues at Our Ocean Conference

Leonardo DiCaprio spoke about the issues facing oceans at the 2016 Our Ocean Conference in Washington, D.C. hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry.

A Historic Day for the Protection of Sharks and Rays

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation joined together with other leading philanthropies to found the Global Partnership for Sharks and Rays, which seeks to protect the world’s most threatened marine species.

LDF makes historic grant announcement and welcomes Terry Tamminen as global CEO

LDF awards $15.6 Million to fund important conservation and environmental programs around the globe and warmly welcomes veteran environmental leader Terry Tamminen to head the foundation as CEO.