16 September 2016 Current Affairs: The United States President Barack Obama has designated the country’s first marine national monument on 15 September 2016, Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, in the Atlantic Ocean.The monument aims at protecting fragile deep-sea ecosystems off the coast of New England.
The announcement was made by the American president at the third annual Our Ocean Conference in Washington DC. The Conference is hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry. The Conference focuses on issues related to marine-protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts on the ocean.
In August 2016, Obama had decided to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii by 1.1 million square km, creating the world’s largest marine protected area.
More than 20 countries attending the annual ocean conservation meeting will announce the creation of 40 significant new marine protected areas, totalling nearly 1.2 million square km of ocean.
When combined with the Papahanaumokuakea expansion, the nations of the world have protected more than 900000 square miles of ocean in 2016, exceeding last year’s record of more than 1.9 million square km.
Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument : The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is a marine national monument of the United States off the coast of New England. It will protect 12725 square km of ecosystems encompassing three underwater canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon, and four underwater It will provide habitat for protected species such as sea turtles and marine mammals, including endangered sperm, fin, and sei whales and Kemp’s ridley turtles.
It is the first U.S. national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean.