Seychelles president calls from the deep for ocean protection
Protect our seas
"This issue is bigger than all of us, and we cannot wait for the next generation to solve it. We are running out of excuses to not take action, and running out of time," a statement released by the president's office quoted him as saying.
"From this depth, I can see the incredible wildlife that needs our protection, and the consequences of damaging this huge ecosystem that has existed for millennia," Faure said in his speech. "Over the years, we have created these problems. We can solve them."
Taking a dip
"I can see not only the incredible beauty of our ocean, but the care that it urgently needs to stay this way. This is a historical moment for my country," the president said of the 115-island archipelago.
Wake up call
From next year, Seychelles plans to designate 30 percent of its marine surface as a protected zone.
Destruction of coral reefs
"The deep ocean is the beating heart of the planet, yet we have better maps of planet Mars than we do of the ocean floor. This needs to change," Faure noted.
Data collected by the Nekton mission, which is based in Oxford, England, is to be used during a summit of Indian Ocean nations in late 2021.
The data will be used to help the Seychelles expand its policy of protecting almost a third of its national waters by 2020. The initiative is important for the country's 'blue economy', an attempt to balance development needs with those of the environment.
Currently, only about 5% of the world's oceans are protected. Countries have agreed to increase the area to 10% by 2020. But experts and environmental campaigners say between 30% and 50% of the oceans outside nations' territorial waters should get protected status to ensure marine biodiversity.