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The European Union, which organised the ‘Our Ocean’ conference in the Maltese capital of Valletta, its 28 member states and its EIB investment bank gave almost half those financial commitments, about $3.4bn.
Representatives from businesses, almost 100 countries and others pushed the total up to the unprecedented level.
The conference focused on funding and leading projects as varied as combating plastics pollution to countering illegal fishing and looking at the effects of climate change.
The Our Ocean conference has accumulated about $10.2bn since it started in 2014 but the efforts in 2017 exceeded expectations.
“We are beginning to see leaders in government, civil society and the private sector standing up to be counted to make tangible commitments to conservation, which is most encouraging,” said Demetres Karavellas, head of the delegation for the WWF wildlife group.
On top of the financial commitments, nations also promised to add new Marine Protected Areas spanning more than 2.5 million km2, which the EU said translates to over half its territory.
The efforts to better protect marine life came in in all shapes. Five top global insurance industry companies committed to refuse insurance to vessels internationally blacklisted for illegal or unregulated fishing.