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WATER WORLD
Cook Islands declares world's largest marine park
by Staff Writers
Avarua, Cook Islands (AFP) Aug 29, 2012


The Cook Islands announced the creation of world's largest marine park at the opening of the Pacific Islands Forum Tuesday, a vast swathe of ocean almost twice the size of France.

Prime Minister Henry Puna said the 1.065 million square kilometre (411,000 square mile) reserve "(is) the largest area in history by a single country for integrated ocean conservation and management".

Puna said protecting the Pacific, one of the last pristine marine eco-systems, was the Cooks' major contribution "to the wellbeing of not only our peoples, but also of humanity".

"The marine park will provide the necessary framework to promote sustainable development by balancing economic growth interests such as tourism, fishing and deep sea mining with conserving core biodiversity in the ocean," he said.

Australia announced in June that it was creating a network of marine parks covering 3.1 million square kilometres, more than a third of its territorial waters. However, they are dotted around its huge coastline.

The new Cook Islands protected zone will be the largest single marine park in the world, taking in the entire southern half of the nation's waters.

The nation's 15 islands have a combined landmass barely larger than Washington DC but its waters include environmentally valuable coral reefs, seagrass beds and fisheries.

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WATER WORLD
New Survey of Ocean Floor Finds Juvenile Scallops are Abundant in Mid-Atlantic
Woods Hole MA (SPX) Aug 29, 2012
NOAA researchers are getting a comprehensive view of the ocean floor using a new instrument, and have confirmed that there are high numbers of young sea scallops off of Delaware Bay. Unofficially dubbed the "Seahorse" because of its curved and spiny profile, the instrument is the latest and most sophisticated version of a survey system developed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) ... read more


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