The St Helena Marine Protected Area was established in 2016 and covers an area of 445,000 square kilometers, making it one of the largest MPAs in the world. It encompasses the waters surrounding the island, including seamounts, canyons, and deep-sea habitats. The MPA is home to a rich diversity of marine life, including endangered species such as whale sharks, humpback whales, and several species of seabirds.
The declaration of St Helena’s MPA as an International Marine Hope Spot is a significant achievement for the island and its conservation efforts. Hope Spots are areas that are critical to the health of the ocean and are identified as places of ecological importance. They serve as models for marine conservation and inspire local communities and governments to take action to protect and restore marine ecosystems. The designation of St Helena’s MPA as a Hope Spot highlights the island’s commitment to preserving its unique marine environment. It also brings international attention to the importance of protecting the oceans and the need for global cooperation in conservation efforts.
The St Helena Government, in collaboration with local and international partners, has implemented various measures to protect the marine environment. These include fishing restrictions, monitoring programs, and public awareness campaigns. The aim is to ensure the long-term sustainability of the marine ecosystem and the livelihoods of the local communities that depend on it.
Picture: Lance Anderson/Unsplash
The declaration of St Helena’s MPA as an International Marine Hope Spot is not only a recognition of the island’s conservation efforts but also a call to action for other regions to follow suit. It serves as a reminder that the health of our oceans is crucial for the well-being of our planet and future generations. By protecting and preserving marine ecosystems, we can safeguard biodiversity, support sustainable fisheries, and mitigate the impacts of climate change. The declaration of St Helena’s MPA as a Hope Spot is a step in the right direction towards achieving these goals.
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