Only four percent of the ocean is protected

by atherrien on November 6, 2015 - 12:21pm

                The University of British Columbia published an alarming article on the actual ocean space officially protected by governments. A grand total of four percent of the ocean is protected, amount far acceptable for any basic environmental targets. The cause of this study is the drastic loss of biodiversity across the world. The only realistic way to solve the problematic is to create more marine protected areas (MPAs). In 2010, representatives from 200 countries met in Nagoya, Japan, to discuss the issue. The virtuous agreements that still need to be made between different countries slow the process down quite significantly, in a way that the target set to protect ten percent of the ocean by 2020 sounds more like a tour-de-force. It is important to notice, however, that the past decade has seen improvement. 0.65 per cent only of the ocean was protected in 2006. Wildlife from unprotected areas need to cope with the heavy passage of boats and over-fishing, as there is often no rules in such zones. Indeed, this might lead to some species extinction and the general degradation of ecosystems.

                I personally believe that there should be more MPAs in order to avoid some multi-national taking over a part of the ocean and completely rip it. However, I do understand the evident difficulties of creating such zones due to various governments needing to collaborate. Hopefully, with newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s more progressive approach to environment – he does not deny climate change! – will ease the processes with other countries, since the goal is not profit but protection.


Only four percent of the ocean is protected. (October 26, 2015). Retrieved November 6, 2015.


Hi, I thought your article was very concise and well written. While reading I was shocked to know that only four percent of the ocean is protected. I find it ridiculous that governments are not putting more effort into increasing marine protected areas and are allowing for the overfishing and collapsing of ecosystems across the globe. I as well am hopeful that new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can help make better changes that will help the environment and cause better protection to our oceans rather than harm them. As well I think marine protection areas can only go so far, it is important that these areas are efficiently regulated and monitored. There are so many areas that are being over-fished and harmed, what parts of the ocean do you think need to be monitored and or have more marine protected zones? It’s sad to read that a total of four percent of the ocean is protected; hopefully in the future governments will realize their destructive impact and change their behaviour to wanting to help save the environment.
Erin Smith

Very interesting article! With the ocean being such a large habitat with so much biodiversity it is shocking that not more of it has been protected. With all the talk about climate change, I feel the ocean is always somewhat left out of the conversation as it is not something that affects the majority of us. I too am hopeful with our new government that they will step up and be a leader in the fight against climate change. What I have seen and read so far about our new PM, I feel like he is very focused at involving the public and youth of all ages, and all cultural backgrounds. What is concerning to me though is who's responsibility is it to take care of the ocean? The government can set out these MPAs but it doesn't mean the fish and wildlife are confined to those areas. The ocean is so large and just because it is not a marine protected area means we don't have to care for it? I feel as species of this earth it is all of our responsibility to take care of this planet and make changes in our daily lives that will do so. If we wait around for all governments to agree and set regulations it might be too late, but if we could all just do one thing a day that would benefit do you think we could make a difference?

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