What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?
This summer I worked with the Coral Reefs of the High Seas project which is funded by Conservation International. I spent most of my time researching and organizing historical data for a paper titled “The hidden landscape: maritime cultural heritage of the Salas y Gómez and Nazca ridges with implications for conservation on the high seas”. This paper is pending publication in the Marine Policy journal.
My fellowship with Coral Reefs of the High Seas reached an important milestone yesterday, we officially submitted our paper to the journal Marine Policy! The paper focused on the many cultural and maritime uses of the Salas y Gomez and Nazca Ridges between coastal Chile and Rapa Nui to provide further evidence that this area needs protection. Although the negotiations to create the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) treaty have yet to be completed, we are making the case for high seas conservation in preparation for its eventual ratification. Once ratified, the BBNJ will create a legal pathway to protect the Salas y Gomez and Nazca Ridges from ecological damage and this paper is one of many that can provide ample justification for its protection.
This summer I have been working with the Coral Reefs of the High Seas Coalition, a group of expert scientists, policy-makers, lawyers, and others advocating for the creation of a High Seas Treaty to protect critical marine habitat outside of national jurisdiction. Specifically, my work has focused on two series of seamounts between Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and the coast of Chile called the Salas y Gómez and Nazca Ridges. Both ridges are predominantly outside of national jurisdiction and therefore have no overarching management regime that could create a Marine Protected Area (MPAs) around these ecologically and biologically significant marine areas.