Marine Sanctuaries were made in order to protect the exquisite underwater ecosystems, including both plant and animal life, around the globe. With limited human activity in these areas, the life in the sanctuaries can thrive. The sanctuaries range in size as well as biodiversity. Here are some of the beautiful marine sanctuaries around the world.
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
ThePapahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is located in the northeast of Hawaii. It is the largest conservation area in the United States, and it is even larger than all U.S. National Parks combined. It is also one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world spanning 139,797 square miles. The monument is home to extensive coral reefs, over 7,000 marine species and 14 million seabirds. It is also home to 4 species of birds that are found no where else in the world.
Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Animals
Located in the Mediterranean Sea, the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals stretches across France, Monaco, Italy, Corsica, and Sardinia. The Pelagos sanctuary is a large feeding and breeding area for animals in the cetacea order (i.e. whales, dolphins or porpoise).
This sanctuary is located along many high tourist ports, therefore, pollution is also high. Therefore, governments have recently put lots of restrictions on these areas. They are slowly phasing out the release of toxic pollutants as well as monitoring businesses that may illegally dump chemicals into the sanctuary waters.
Ross Sea Marine Park
The Ross Sea Marine park was only recently established as a protected area (in 2016). An agreement was made between 24 countries and the EU to protect 1.1 square kilometers of an area around Antarctica. The protection, unfortunately, expires in 35 years. However, the protection is necessary to the world’s largest population of penguins and whales. It is the first marine park created in international waters.
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary protects 3 sand banks, which are actually salt domes, that are located off the coast of Texas and Louisiana. The domes are homes to coral reef which are inhabited by hundreds of different species, including the endangered loggerhead sea turtle.