夏威夷環礁劃設海洋保護區 全球最大 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

夏威夷環礁劃設海洋保護區 全球最大

2006年06月19日
ENS美國,華盛頓特區報導;江昱均、蘇家億編譯;莫聞審校

夏威夷水域長滿了健康的珊瑚和龐大的魚群,圖為金鱗魚(Squirrelfish)美國總統布希15日批淮了一份將西北夏威夷群島海域訂立為國家保護區的宣言。根據需宣言內容,這片涵蓋了10座島嶼及週邊環礁14萬平方哩的聯邦水域,將永久受到保護,且立即生效。這是成為全美有史以來最大面積的單一保育區,也是全球最大的海洋保護區。

「西北夏威夷群島國家保護區」面積比優勝美地國家公園大100倍,也比全美國50州的46座國家公園面積都要大,甚至是美國國家13座海洋保護區的面積總合的7倍。

此群島棲息了超過7000種海洋生物,其中的四分之一是全球獨有的物種。西北夏威夷群島是1400隻夏威夷僧海豹的家,是此種重要瀕危動物所剩餘的總數。這些群島是哺育90%瀕危的夏威夷綠蠵龜的地方。此水域長滿了健康的珊瑚和龐大的魚群;還有數量眾多的海鳥在這些群島生長、築巢。

美國國會1906年通過的《古物法》,賦予美國總統不需詢問國會,直接指名國家保護區的權力;目前全美已有數十座的國家保護區。西北夏威夷群島國家保護區是位於夏威夷的第一座國家保護區,同時也是在國家海洋及大氣管理局(NOAA)管轄下第一座由美國商務部運作的國家保護區。

布希說:「在國家保護區的範圍內,未經授權通過的船隻將禁止航行。我們也將禁止任何未授權的休閒或商業活動,禁止任何榨取自然資源或丟置廢棄物的行為,同時在5年內,我們也將逐步撤除商業捕魚活動。至於對海鳥和海洋生物來說,這個獨一無二的區域將會成為讓牠們得以生長和繁衍的聖地。」

布希表示,他保護西北夏威夷群島的決心係受到一部紀錄片的影響──卡度(Jean-Michel Cousteau)爲美國公共電視網所拍攝的2小時紀錄片《庫雷島之旅》,介紹此水域之美以及其因人類而所面臨的威脅。布希亦邀請了卡度到白宮參加參加15日的簽署儀式。

卡度說:「由原生和瀕危生物以及環境特殊的棲地所組成的這個近乎純淨的環境,目前卻遭到海洋廢棄物、貪婪的商業漁業利益,以及人類不負責任的後果群起圍攻。它是一個脆弱的生態系統,就像一座小瓷塑雕像一樣美麗、一樣脆弱。」

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Proclaimed a National Monument
WASHINGTON, DC, June 15, 2006 (ENS)

Today, President George W. Bush signed a proclamation designating the waters of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands a national monument. The status confers immediate and permanent protection upon 140,000 square miles federal waters surrounding 10 islands and atolls creating the largest single conservation area in the history of the United States, and the world's largest protected marine area.

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument is more than 100 times larger than Yosemite National Park, larger than 46 of the U.S. 50 states, and more than seven times larger than all the 13 national marine sanctuaries combined.

The archipelago is inhabited by more than 7,000 marine species, a quarter of which are found nowhere else on Earth. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are home to the 1,400 surviving Hawaiian monk seals, the entire population of this critically endangered species. These islands are the breeding ground for 90 percent of the threatened Hawaiian Island green sea turtle population. The waters are full of healthy corals and giant schools of fish. Enormous flocks of seabirds still breed and nest on these islands.

The 1906 Antiquities Act gives the President the power to designate monuments without consulting Congress. There are now dozens of monuments. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands will be the first national monument in Hawaii, and the first to be operated by the Department of Commerce under the jurisdiction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"Within the boundaries of the monument, we will prohibit unauthorized passage of ships," said Bush, "we will prohibit unauthorized recreational or commercial activity; we will prohibit any resource extraction or dumping of waste, and over a five-year period, we will phase out commercial fishing, as well. For seabirds and sea life, this unique region will be a sanctuary for them to grow and to thrive."

Jean-Michel Cousteau's two hours of video for PBS, "Voyage to Kure," showed the glories of these waters and the threats they face from human pressure. Bush invited Cousteau to the White House for the ceremony today and said the film has influenced his decision to protect the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

"This near pristine environment, teaming with indigenous and endangered species and extraordinary habitats, is under siege from marine debris, ravenous commercial fishing interests and the effects of human irresponsibility," said Cousteau. "It is a fragile ecosystem that is as beautiful as a porcelain figurine and as easily broken.”