Marine conservation highlighted for World Oceans Day
A global celebration of the oceans was marked by the Ministry of Home Affairs with emphasis on the island’s recent progress in protecting the seas.
Walter Roban, the minister, highlighted local and international conservation efforts, including the landmark Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework agreement last December, as World Oceans Day was marked.
The historic deal came from the 2022 United Nations Biodiversity Conference, with commitments to biodiversity set for 2050, and 23 targets for 2030, including conserving 30 per cent of land and sea.
Mr Roban also highlighted the agreement in May between the Sargasso Sea Commission and the Inter-American Sea Turtle Convention, to share research and curb threats to sea turtles,
Additionally, this March, the UN completed its “landmark” High Seas Treaty agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Bermuda has taken a leading role in Sargasso Sea conservation efforts, Mr Roban said.
The final Blue Prosperity Plan for Bermuda’s offshore Exclusive Economic Zone is also expected later this year.
Mr Roban said it would outline the first steps for Bermuda to become a “global leader and a hub for investment in sustainable industries”.
“A genuine effort has been made to include all of Bermuda's stakeholders in creating a long-term plan to manage, protect and benefit sustainably from our ocean environment.”
He also noted the Government’s distribution of environmentally friendly LED lights, and work in the ministry towards the legislative ban on single-use plastics, which harm the oceans.
About eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year, and by 2050 the amount of plastic is projected to outweigh fish.