Outgoing Presidents seem to like declaring MPAs – this one is in time for the IUCN World Congress.
Openchannels: ‘On 26 August, US President Barack Obama expanded the boundaries of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands from its previous size of 362,000 km2 — already one of the largest MPAs in the world — to an enormous 1.5 million km2. The expansion creates the largest protected area, marine or terrestrial, on Earth.
Formerly the boundaries of the MPA extended 50 nm from shore. Now they extend to the full 200-nm limit of the EEZ. All commercial extraction activities, including commercial fishing and any future mineral extraction, are prohibited in the expansion area, as they are within the boundaries of the existing monument. Recreational fishing and the removal of fish and other resources for Native Hawaiian cultural practices are allowed in the expansion area by permit, as is scientific research.
Obama designated the expansion via executive powers he wields under the US Antiquities Act. The move did not require legislative approval from Congress. To read more click here