Elliott Norse’s Efforts to Enhance Ocean Protection

Elliott Norse, Redmond-based marine biologist, has helped more than 350 top ocean scientists to step forward and request President Obama to develop methods to conserve oceans from overfishing. The previous week, Obama
administration revealed that it would expand ocean protections in the south-central Pacific.

In a letter to Obama administration, Norse and his team specified detailed description of the benefits associated in expanding protections around seven remote islands and atolls southwest of Hawaii. Monica Medina, senior director of international ocean policy for the National Geographic Society, said Norse also helped President George W. Bush to protect still-pristine areas of the tropical Pacific about decade ago.

James Connaughton, former head of the Bush administration's Council on Environmental Quality, said taking consequential conservation initiatives to conserve broader marine environment has been a major issue.

"Norse team was instrumental in helping identify the opportunity and the appropriate scope of ocean protections. They were very significant and very constructive partners", said Connaughton. In 2006, Bush was being requested by Norse's team to establish the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, prohibiting fishing across nearly 140,000 square miles of shoals and atolls northwest of Hawaii.

Later in 2009, Norse group also convinced Bush to establish the 86,000-square-mile Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument near Johnston, Wake and Palmyra atolls in 2009. Norse said that their team is offering Bush an opportunity to do really big for the environment at a very low cost.