Ocean advocates push for Bermuda marine reserve
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - Officials from the Pew Charitable Trusts and one of famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau's grandsons were in Bermuda on Thursday calling for the creation of the Atlantic's biggest marine reserve.
The ambitious "Blue Halo" plan would create a vast reserve in ecologically-rich waters between the tiny mid-Atlantic territory's coastal fishing areas, and its 322km exclusive economic zone boundary.
Advocates say it would safeguard significant parts of the Sargasso Sea, a 3-million sq km warm water body in the North Atlantic that is a major habitat and nursery for numerous marine species. It would potentially start 80km from Bermuda's shore and ring the territory, ensuring that anglers could still fish offshore.
Bermuda is the only island within the Sargasso Sea, known for its mats of brownish Sargassum seaweed and as the spawning place for European and American eels.