FRIDAY, JANUARY 4: A Sargasso Sea Commission is envisaged to be formed in Bermuda this year to look at the ecological significance of the island’s ocean. What’s more the efforts of the Sargasso Sea Alliance, led by the Bermuda government, were noted in a recent UN General Assembly resolution.

The Bermuda Government, through the alliance, is working on a proposal to make the vast Sargasso Sea surrounding Bermuda a marine protected area (MPA). The move could see certain limitations on fishing activity for conservation purposes.

Within the UN General Assembly Annual Composite Resolution on the Oceans and the Law of the Sea it was mentioned that it “takes note of the efforts of the Sargasso Sea Alliance, led by the government of Bermuda, to raise awareness of the ecological significance of the Sargasso Sea.”

The challenge with establishing this particular MPA is that much of the Sargasso Sea is a high seas area and therefore does not come under the jurisdiction of any specific country. An MPA would therefore have to be organized through numerous countries.

Last month the Sargasso Sea Alliance convened a meeting of States and relevant international organizations to discuss the draft text of a political declaration planned to be approved by an inter-ministerial meeting this year (the Hamilton Declaration).

The declaration will be a political agreement amongst the States bordering the Sargasso Sea and the Range States of important species which spawn or migrate through the Sargasso Sea. It will seek to elaborate the ways in which these countries can voluntarily collaborate in such an effort and envisages the establishment of a Sargasso Sea Commission in Bermuda.