The BBC reports that U.S. President Obama has announced a plan to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument from 87,000 square miles to nearly 782,000 square miles. This single act would effectively double the world’s marine protected areas (MPA). The area consists of 7 uninhabited islands and atolls with associated reefs which lie between Hawaii and American Samoa. The proposed MAP will ban fishing and mineral exploitation in the whole area that is subject to U.S. economic control, essentially within 200 nautical mile radius of the islands.
The BBC article also mentions that the tiny island Republic of Kiribati has announced that the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, close to the proposed new U.S. MPA, will close to all commercial fishing from the end of 2014.