U.K. to Ban Fishing Harvests in Vast Swath of Its Seas

U.K. to Ban Fishing Harvests in Vast Swath of Its Seas

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The United Kingdom plans to ban commercial fishing in roughly 385,000 square miles of ocean around British territories.

Four islands in the Pacific and Atlantic will now have protected marine areas, the government said today.

A no-take fishing zone starts this week for a 320,000-square-mile area around Pitcairn, and a roughly 172,000-square-mile area in St. Helena, which is home to humpbacks and whale sharks, will also be a designated protected space.

Two more areas around two South Atlantic islands will be designated protected by 2019 and 2020.

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“Protecting 4 million square kilometers of ocean is a fantastic achievement, converting our historic legacy into modern environmental success,” said Sir Alan Duncan, minister of state for Europe and the Americas.

Although commercial fishing will only be banned in two of the areas, the other zones will still be protected from activities like oil drilling.

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The announcement was made at the Our Ocean conference currently ongoing in Washington, D.C., and comes on the heels of President Obama’s designation of a marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

(READ more from The Guardian—Reprinted with permission from E&E Publishing)

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