A Big Year for Marine Protected Areas
From the protection of Antarctica's Ross Sea to the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, 2016 was a big year for marine protected areas.
By protecting these areas from harmful activities such as offshore drilling, the international community is giving critical ocean habitats the opportunity to rebuild and replenish. This sign of commitment to marine protected areas gives conservation organizations across the globe hope that we can reach the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s recommended goal to protect 30 percent of the ocean.
Seafood Gets a Seat at the White House
For the first time in our nation’s history, White House meetings were convened to discuss the prospects of seafood sustainability for the country. Under the administration’s "Champions of Change" initiative, many from the industry and conservation field were brought together to share solutions and areas of critical environmental focus related to both commercial fishing and aquaculture practices.
The National Aquarium’s Seafood team was proud to represent conservation interests for the Chesapeake Bay watershed at these gatherings. Learn more about our Seafood Smart initiative here.
Humpbacks Leap Off Endangered Species List
Nine North American populations of humpback whales were taken off the endangered species list in 2016.
Humpback whales have been listed on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) endangered species list since its establishment in 1973. Now, more than 40 years later, experts from NOAA are removing nine of the 14 humpback whale populations in North American waters from the list, citing international conservation efforts as the main reason for the species’ recovery.
Stay tuned for more of our favorite stories from 2016!