Hawaii scientists and surfers unite for new ocean protection campaign

Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 5:32 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The World Surf League just launched an online petition drive under the banner “We Are One Ocean.”

“We’re calling for 30% marine protected areas by 2030,” said Reece Pacheco, WSL’s senior vice president of Ocean Responsibility.

The campaign addresses what Pacheco calls the earth’s bio-diversity crisis.

“What we are saying is lets have a couple places that are fully and highly protected. No commercial extraction, Then lets strengthen the protection for the global ocean everywhere,” he said.

Hawaii has a “30 by 30″ ocean protection initiative, and the U.S. has a federal one. WSL’s calling for international protections from plastic pollution, over-fishing, mining, and other stressors.

“”There are certain regions of the ocean that we want to focus on where there are bio-diversity hot spots, and Hawaii is one of those regions,” Pacheco said.

WSL produced several videos featuring scientists and surfers.

They tell stories of their own connections to the ocean and urge viewers to sign the petition that will eventually be presented to the United Nations.

Big island waterman and chemist Cliff Kapono says the 30x30 movement is an action step.

“I hope that in 2030, 2060, 2080, 3030, this petition will still exist where people can look back and see their ancestors and know that they come from a line of people who at least subscribed to this idea we need to be better environmental stewards of our planet,” he said.

Pacheco said the long-term goal is protection of half the world’s oceans by 2050

“We know the ocean is a resource, but we can’t just have it be a free-for-ll out there,” he said.

To learn more about World Surf League’s initiative, go to

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