Wake Island: part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

US President Barack Obama has proposed a vast expansion of Pacific Ocean sanctuaries for marine life. Fishing and energy exploration activities will be banned.

The proposal might create the world's largest marine sanctuary and double the area of ocean globally that is fully protected. As a result, the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument will be expanded from almost 87,000 square miles to nearly 782,000 square miles.

"Growing up in Hawaii, I learned early to appreciate the beauty and power of the ocean," says Barack Obama.

"And like Presidents Clinton and Bush before me, I'm going to use my authority as president to protect some of our most precious marine landscapes, just like we do for mountains and rivers and forests. That's why the United States is leading the fight to protect our oceans."

The US government will hear fishermen, scientists, politicians, experts in conservation and others before the proposals take effect.