Target: Governor of Ascension Island Mark Capes & Director of Fisheries and Marine Conservation Dr. Judith Brown
Goal: Applaud the decision to create marine reserve around Ascension Island.
A marine reserve is to be created in the waters surrounding Ascension Island in the Atlantic. An area almost the same size as the United Kingdom is to be made part of the reserve, with half closed to fishing and the other half heavily policed. The Louis Bacon Foundation has provided a $440,000 grant to help the enforcement of the protected area.
Ascension Island is located in the middle of the South Atlantic, and remains a part of the British Overseas Territory. The area featured largely in Charles Darwin’s research, and is home to some of the largest marlin in the world. It also holds one of the largest populations of green turtles, sizable colonies of tropical seabirds and the island’s native frigate bird. It is possible that the reserve could be ready as soon as 2017 after all the necessary data research has been conducted.
This reserve will bring the total amount of the world’s oceans designated as a marine conservation zone to roughly two percent. Scientists have recommended that at least 30 percent will be needed to preserve species and grow fish stocks, but this is a good step in the right direction. Applaud the decision to make this area a protected marine conservation area by signing the petition below.
Dear Governor Capes,
The recent decision to create a marine reserve in the waters surrounding Ascension Island will make a huge difference in the fight to protect marine life worldwide. Recognizing that something needs to be done to protect rare and unique species of wildlife in the modern era is a sign of foresight and responsibility. You have added Ascension Island to the list of protected areas such as Palau in the North Pacific, Easter Island and Pitcairn in the South Pacific, and the Kermadec islands in New Zealand, and have become part of a global effort.
There is still more to be done, however. While the new marine reserve is quite large, it is a fraction of what scientists have recommended be conserved. It is imperative that the momentum from this decision continue and influence the choices of other governments and related bodies to consider and act upon other conservation efforts around the world.
I applaud your decision and the work of your government and the conservationists of Ascension Island in creating this protected area, and urge you to continue in your efforts to protect marine life.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Lord Harris