Successful Marine Sanctuaries Worldwide Reflect Growing Trend of Preserving Oceans

Enlargeable banner logo of Space and Ocean Exploration by Danny Quintana and the Global High Seas Marine Preserve.Danny Quintana, who founded the Global High Seas Marine Preserve, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving the oceans and marine life, wanted this website to showcase the successful ocean marine sanctuaries and conservation programs around the world. Having discovered the true state of the ocean fisheries, the establishment of the Global High Seas Marine would ban industrial and commercial fishing in international waters to allow top marine predators and other species vital to ocean ecosystems to return in large numbers. Decades of out of control industrial fishing has nearly wiped out some of the vital species in the oceans like tuna, whales and sharks. This has to stop. 

Easter Island Marine Sanctuary, 720,000 square kilometres, 278,000 square miles, established by Chile.In the list below the Chile Easter Island Marine Sanctuary will allow local fishing while disallowing industrial harvesting of marine life, something Danny Quintana wantto implement worldwide. By banning industrial fishing and encouraging local and sustainable fishing techniques and consumption, it is hoped the fish stocks can recover in sufficient numbers   

Recently or About to be Established Marine Sanctuaries

New Zealand Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, 240,000 square miles, 620,000 square kilometers, is in one of the most fascinating marine environments in the world. The sanctuary, to be officially established October 2016, will be the largest contiguous area of ocean in which all fishing will be prohibited. Last year the U.S. announced the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which consists of seven areas totaling 1,058,848 square kilometres, 409,000 square miles. None of the seven areas are as large as the New Zealand Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. Some have provisions for limited customary and recreational fishing and that coincides with GHSMP policy suggestions. 

Huge fish near the Kermadec Islands off New Zealand, which established Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary with 240,000 square miles of ocean territory. The United Kingdom has announced an 834,334 square kilometre, 322,000 square mile, marine protected area around Pitcairn Island. This is larger than the sanctuary.

It has been proposed that an area be set aside for customary fishing. A 720,000 square kilometre, 278,000 square mile, marine park around Easter Island in Chile is being discussed. The proposal would allow fishing by the local population.

Coral Sea Marine Sactuary established by Australia, 989,842 square kilometres, 382,000 square miles.Australia announced in 2012 the 989,842 square kilometre, 382,000 square mile, Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Around 51 percent of the reserve will be zoned as a marine national park which is a ‘no-take’ zone. The remaining zoned areas will have other levels of protection.

The Coral Sea marine region is a remote ocean ecosystem recognized for its unique physical, ecological and heritage values. The environmental significance of the Coral Sea lies in its diverse array of coral reefs, sandy cays, deep sea plains and canyons. The Coral Sea islands and associated reefs support critical nesting sites for the green turtle and a range of seabird species such as noddies, terns, boobies, frigatebirds and tropic birds.

The reefs are also renowned for the diverse range of predatory fish such as albacore, yellowfin and bigeye tuna, broadbill swordfish, marlin and sharks that regularly pass through them. The Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve protects the waters of the Coral Sea that fall within Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Yves Cousteau on Setting Up a Marine Sanctuary: Why it Works Best
for All Involved, Politicians, Children, New divers and Tourists

Whale Protected Areas Tour with French Government and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration’s National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

Marine Sanctuaries Around the World
Very Large Protected Marine Sanctuaries Around the World
produced by of Marine Conservation Institute
Click to Enlarge


Island Nation of Palau World’s First National Shark
Sanctuary this as a Result of Shark Finning Cruelty
Graphic Courtesy of Palau & Article from EcoWatch

Palau Shark Sanctuary

Palau National Marine Sanctuary, the first declared national shark sanctuary in the world with 136 sharks species living in or migrating through the island nation. Mission Statement: Protect Palau ‘s sharks and other marine creatures. The Palau Shark Sanctuary, Palau ‘s first shark conservation organization, was founded in November 2001, in response to the reckless slaughter of Palau ‘s sharks for shark fins, by foreign vessels licensed by Palau to fish in their waters.

Goal: Establish the waters within Palau ‘s Exclusive Economic Zone as a Marine Sanctuary for SharksEarthjustice applauds the creation of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, signed into law today by President Tommy Remengesau, establishing one of the world’s largest marine protected areas.

“This bold action to protect the full sweep of the country’s valuable ocean resources affirms that Palau is a world leader in marine conservation,” said Drew Caputo, Earthjustice vice president of Litigation for Lands, Wildlife and Oceans. “No other country has done more.” 

Pew Charitable Trust banner on visiting shark sanctuary in PalauThe law designates 80 percent of the nation’s exclusive economic zone—an area bigger than the state of California—as a no-take marine reserve, and the remaining 20 percent as a managed domestic fishing zone for local fishers to supply the national market and ensure food security for Palau now and into the future. Palau’s marine ecosystems are some of the most diverse on Earth, home to more than 700 species of coral and 1,300 species of fish. Globally, oceans are threatened by over-fishing, pollution, warming and acidification. Large, no-take marine reserves are crucial to efforts to build marine resilience to climate change by allowing fish stocks to rebound and reducing by-catch of species that are critical to ocean health.

Palau Island Nation, first nationally declared shark sanctuary with 136 species of sharks living around or migrating through the islands. Earthjustice was privileged to provide legal support to the government of Palau, advising on the legal requirements under ocean treaties and fisheries access agreements to which Palau is a party, and the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act.

Palau Shark Sanctuary, first declared national shark sanctuary in the world. “The sanctuary is a major contribution to healthy oceans and reef systems that are more resilient to climate change, both for the people of Palau and for the world,” said Earthjustice international program attorney, Erika Rosenthal. “Ocean biomass conservation—through fisheries conservation and management and marine protected areas—is critical to maintaining the ocean’s function as an effective carbon sink.”

Shark Finning is responsible for prompting the island nation of Palau to declare the first national shark sanctuary in the world.The precedent-setting Palau marine protected area shows that small island states, often called large ocean nations, can be global conservation leaders, and make major contribution to the international targets for marine protected areas established under the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Support for the sanctuary was strong across the island from governors to traditional leaders to thousands of Palauans who demonstrated and signed petitions. Palau has long been a leader in ocean conservation. The nation established the first shark sanctuary in the region in 2001 and was a leader in the Micronesia Challenge, designating a near-shore network of protected areas starting in 2003.

Tribute to Sharks and Palau Marine Life in High Definition

Shark Alarm in Palau, First Declared National Shark Sanctuary

The tiny pacific nation of Palau has declared itself the worlds first national shark sanctuary. A large proportion of the 100-million sharks killed each year, are hunted in its territorial waters. This carnage is being fueled by Asias rapidly growing appetite for shark fin soup. The sharks are captured, have their fins hacked off and are then thrown overboard to die.

If you are a guest of honor they give you a bowl of shark fin soup, says Johnson Toribiong, Palaus President, sometimes they catch sharks illegally, sometimes they catch tuna illegally. This tiny island has warned the world it will protect its natural resources, but with only one patrol boat, can the shark sanctuary ever be enforced? Shark activist Dermott Keane believes they cant do it alone; Palau needs assistance in enforcing this sanctuary.

Australia’s Marine Protected Area Network
Links to Each Australian Marine Sanctuary at bottom of page

Australia has created the world’s largest network of Marine Protected Areas. In 2012, Australia established a National Representative Network of Marine Protected Areas, to provide a safe-haven for marine life in the seas surrounding the continent (1).

Australia network map of marine sanctuaries all around the country, really a fantastic collection of marine life.

The network covers 1/3 of Australian waters. This area of ocean is being managed primarily for biodiversity conservation, whilst aiming to minimise both social and economic impacts. Similarly to the UK, the area has been divided into regional projects.

The Coral Sea is protected by a large no-take marine reserve. A high level of protection has been awarded to the Coral Sea because it is a remote ocean ecosystem with significant physical, ecological and heritage values. The region supports important habitats for a range of species including humpback whales, green turtles, white sharks, whale sharks and tuna. The East Australian Current also forms here, which is a major pathway for mobile predators, and many historic shipwrecks add heritage values, including three WWII shipwrecks from the Battle of the Coral Sea (2).

Grey Nurse Shark off the waters of Australia. Adjacent to the Coral Sea in the Temperate East, the network covers important habitats for the critically endangered east coast population of grey nurse sharks. In this region, the network provides protection for the offshore reef habitats at Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs; Lord Howe Island; and Norfolk Island, which supports the threatened black cod (3).

Coral Reef off the coast of Australia. In the South East, the representative network aims to maintain viable populations of endemic species and enable evolutionary processes to continue. This is a key aspect of the network, because within the region, 85% of fish and 62% of seafloor fauna are endemic to the area (4).

In the South West, 90% of the regions’ species can’t be found anywhere else on earth! The network of protected areas also secures important breeding and feeding sites, including seasonal calving habitats for the threated southern right whale and foraging habitats for the threatened white shark, blue whale and soft-plumaged petrel (5).

Whale Shark at the Ningaloo Reef, Australia, one of the successful marine sanctuaries around the world.

The network is designed to protect key life stages and habitats in the North West region. Protected areas have been located to coincide with important seasonal calving habitats for the world’s largest population of humpback whales. They will also protect key foraging habitats for whale sharks, sea snakes and a variety of marine turtles, including the loggerhead and hawksbill turtle (6).

Foraging and nesting sites are protected in the North region.Important foraging areas for large aggregations of dugongs are included in the network, as well as important nesting areas for threated marine turtles, such as green and olive Ridley turtles (7).

Over 30% of the network is no-take. The network is made up of a mosaic of different types of marine protected area. Those areas designated as ‘National Marine Park Zones’ or ‘Marine Sanctuaries’ are all strictly no-take and fishing is prohibited within their boundaries.

The network was designed to minimise impacts to fisheries. Over 90% of Australian waters within 100 km of the shore remain open to recreational fishing and less than 1% of the commercial fishing industry will be affected, with $100 million pledged from the federal government to assist the fishing businesses (8).

Links to Australian Marine Reserve Websites

Australian Government. Temperate East Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Available at 

Australian Government. Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Available at 

Australian Government. Common Wealth Marine Reserves. Available at

Australian Government. South East Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Available at 

Australian Government. South West Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Available at 

Australian Government. North West Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Available at 

Australian Government. North Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Available at

Project Aware. Marine Parks and Sharks. Available at