Ocean conference raises over $7 billion to marine protection

BRUSSELS (AP) - A global conference organized by the European Union aimed at better protecting marine life has raised more than $7 billion.

During the Our Ocean conference that concluded Friday in the Maltese capital of Valletta, the EU committed $645 million to improve marine governance. Representatives from businesses, 112 countries and others pushed the total up to the unprecedented level.

The Our Ocean conference has accumulated some 8.7 billion euros ($10.2 billion) since it started in 2014 but the 2017 commitments exceeded expectations.

The conference focuses on funding and leading projects as varied at combating plastics pollution to countering illegal fishing and looking at the effects of climate change.