Policy ForumOcean

Making waves: The science and politics of ocean protection

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Science  23 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6259, pp. 382-383
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad5443

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The ocean has recently taken a more prominent role on the international policy stage. In June, the United Nations (UN) initiated development of a treaty for conservation of biodiversity on the High Seas. One of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN in September focuses on the ocean. In early October, the second Our Ocean Conference (OO-2015) provided a high-profile platform for nations to tout progress or make promises to protect and restore the ocean. We discuss recent progress in creating and enforcing strongly protected areas, and we emphasize the need to accelerate the pace and draw on scientific knowledge.