Ticker – Nations reach accord to protect marine life on high seas

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, United Nations members have agreed on a unified treaty to protect biodiversity in the high seas, concluding two weeks of talks in New York. The high seas encompass nearly two-thirds of the ocean and half the planet’s surface. The treaty will create a new body to manage ocean life conservation and establish marine protected areas in ocean regions outside national boundary waters. The treaty also establishes ground rules for conducting environmental impact assessments for commercial activities at sea. Several marine species — including dolphins, whales, sea turtles and many fish — make long annual migrations, crossing national borders and the high seas.