3 Mar 2019 - Our oceans are facing significant challenges. Plastic pollution, noise pollution, overfishing, climate change, and more have taken a toll. But this World Wildlife Day, which is focused on the rich biodiversity found underwater, there’s reason for hope. Among them, the progress we’re making toward meeting the United Nations target of protecting 10 percent of the ocean by 2020.
This past December, Argentina took a big step toward reaching its commitment with the creation of two large marine protected areas, Yaganes Marine Park in Drake’s passage and Namuncurá II along the southern shelf break of the Burdwood/Namuncurá Bank. Combined the two areas cover close to 85,000 square kilometers (or over 32,000 square miles).
These two new marine protected areas were identified as priority sites for ocean conservation by the Forum of NGOs for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea. WCS, and its partners in the Forum, played a key role in a process that lasted almost two years. WCS provided advice to the government and the necessary technical information on both parks. The collaborative endeavor attracted public attention toward the unique wildlife of the region, penguins and albatrosses among them.
Photo credit: ©Graham Harris/WCS