For the last seven years, since it began its major support for what was then the world’s largest marine protected area around the British Indian Ocean Territory, encompassing both enforcement and scientific investigation, the Bertarelli Foundation has worked across the globe helping governments and local communities create marine reserves. On Wednesday, 14th September, Dona Bertarelli announced the Foundation’s latest partnership which will safeguard some of the most vulnerable parts of our ocean.
At the third Our Ocean conference in Washington DC, Dona Bertarelli announced the creation of the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project, a new partnership to conserve the world’s oceans and create the next generation of parks in the sea:
“Sailing competitively around the world I have seen first-hand the devastation that man’s influence is having on our oceans – whether through over fishing, plastic pollution or acidification. The need to create large marine reserves could not be greater than it is today, and I’m very proud that the Bertarelli Foundation is building on its work in this area, now in partnership with Pew, to create more of these vitally important sanctuaries which will help protect not just the ocean but the way of life of those who depend on it.”
The $30 million partnership builds upon an existing collaboration which has seen both organisations work to protect huge areas of ocean in the Pacific Ocean, around the neighbouring Pitcairn Islands and Easter Island. This represents almost four years of working with local communities, governments, scientists, and other stakeholders to advance the cause of these incredible places.
In 2013 the Bertarelli Foundation partnered with Pew to support satellite monitoring to detect illegal fishing activity in the waters around Easter Island, Chile, helping to provide evidence that fish were being caught illegally and to support the case for a marine reserve. In the UK the Bertarelli Foundation and Pew have worked together to provide monitoring of fishing activity in the waters surrounding Pitcairn in support of the British Government’s efforts to finalise the designation of the Pitcairn Marine Reserve.
More ocean has been set aside for protection in the past 18 months than during any other period in history, with announcements of new marine reserves by the governments of the U.S., the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Chile, and Palau. But even with these successes, only about 3 per cent of the world’s ocean has been set aside with strong protections.
By harnessing the recent global momentum and political courage of world leaders who have taken action to conserve our ocean, the Bertarelli Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts’ partnership will scale up efforts to secure a future of healthy oceans that was once unimaginable.