Tiny, remote islands create one of world’s largest marine eco zones!2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
Though tiny, these islands are making giant leaps in marine conservation! The isolated UK Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha, with a population of just around 300 people, is making great efforts to protect marine biodiversity. The government there declared the largest, fully protected marine reserves in the Atlantic Ocean, covering 6,87,000 square-kilometres!
This covers about 90% of the island’s waters, which will now be free from harmful human activities such as deep-sea mining, sand extraction and bottom-trawling fishing.
Tristan da Cunha is one of the most remote inhabited islands on Earth, and is home to many rare creatures, such as the sevengills shark, the yellow-nosed albatross, rockhopper penguins and more! Now that the government has declared this area a ‘marine protected area’ (MPA), the community will be able to take care of these species and ensure they can live and breed without interference. Interestingly, this MPA is almost three times the size of UK!
Owliver’s Obscure Facts
Did you know that there are around 5,000 MPAs around the world? Together, the ten largest protected zones cover 74% of the global marine area! Here are the 10 largest marine protected zones in the world, most of these are in the Pacific Ocean:
Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area (1,555,851 sq-km) – This MPA was declared in 2017, and is located in Antartica.
Phoenix Islands (410.5 sq-km) – Located in the Republic of Kiribati, in the Pacific Ocean. This MPA was declared in 2006.
Great Barrier Reef (344.4 sq-km) – This popular part of Australia was declared a protected zone in 1979!
Papahanaumokuakea (341.4 sq-km) – US island in Pacific and declared a protected area in 2000.
Marianas Trench (246.6 sq-km) – This protected area lies in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (USA).
Pacific Remote Islands (225.0 sq-km)- Established in 2009, this protected area is in the US.
Macquarie Island (162.0 sq-km) – This is a marine park located in Australia.
Galapagos (133.0 sq-km) – This marine reserve in Ecuador was declared a protected area in 1996.
Greenland (972 sq-km) – Part of Denmark, this area is declared a national park.
Seaflower (65.1 sq-km) – This MPA is located in Colombia.
Sources: The Indian Express, The Guardian, National Geographic