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Bermuda creates Sargasso Sea commission

August 6, 2014

HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) — Bermuda’s government said Wednesday it has selected five commissioners to submit recommendations about how best to safeguard the ecologically rich waters of the Sargasso Sea.

The creation of the Sargasso Sea Commission follows the signing of a non-binding declaration by five governments to collaborate on conservation of the mid-Atlantic waters. In March, the U.S., Britain, Monaco and the Azores joined Bermuda in signing the Sargasso Sea-focused declaration.

Bermuda is the only island within the Sargasso Sea, a roughly 2 million-square-mile (3 million-square kilometer) body of warm water in the Atlantic. It’s a major habitat and nursery for eels and numerous other marine species.

On Wednesday, Bermuda said the five-member advisory panel made up of marine ecology and international law experts will have no management authority.

The commission will recommend proposed measures for the governments to decide on. The advisory panel’s members include the southeast regional director for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Billy Causey, and British oceanographer Howard Roe.

Conservationists are lobbying Bermuda to create a vast marine reserve that they say would safeguard significant parts of the Sargasso Sea, known for its brownish Sargassum seaweed.

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