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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Barack Obama Creating The World's Largest Marine Reserve In Hawaii


Barack Obama will dramatically expand a marine reserve
off the coast of Hawaii, creating the world's largest
marine protected area.
The US President is to quadruple in size the
Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the
Pacific Ocean.
The move means commercial fishing will be banned from
more than 582,500 sq miles (1.5 million sq km) - more
than twice the size of Texas.
The expansion covers an area containing more than 7,000
marine species, including a coral that is the world's
oldest-known living organism at 4,265 years old.

Mr Obama is visiting the protected area next week to draw
attention to the threat posed by climate change.
He will travel to Midway Atoll, a remote coral reef that was
the site of a pivotal World War II battle and is now known
for its sea turtles, monk seals and millions of seabirds.
The President, who was born in Hawaii and spent most of
his childhood there, pledged at the beginning of his
presidency to make curbing climate change a central part
of his time in the White House, which ends on 20 January.
Some of his efforts have been blocked by Congress or
held up in court challenges, but he has still been able to
use his own power to keep public space from being
developed.
Even before this Hawaii pledge, he had worked to
permanently protect more than 265 million acres of land
and water.
The monument was first created by former Republican
president George W Bush 10 years ago.
Mr Bush created the world's largest marine reserve at the
time, protecting close to 140,000 sq miles of ocean around
the Hawaiian archipelago and inspiring a series of similar
projects around the world.
Some Hawaiians had argued against the expansion.
Commercial fishermen - who have been praised for
sustainable fishing - say they rely on the area for between
3% and 13% of their already limited annual catch of tuna.
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