Pacific islands paradise now protected

Mar 29, 2006

Kiribati, a small Pacific Islands nation, announced Tuesday it is creating the third largest marine protected area in the world.

With eight atolls and two submerged reef systems, the nearly uninhabited Phoenix Islands Protected Area is the largest such area in the Pacific Islands at 73,800 square miles, twice the size of Portugal. It is the first marine protected area in the region with deep-sea habitat, including underwater mountains.

Located in the central Pacific between Hawaii and Fiji, the Phoenix Islands form an archipelago several hundred miles long. They are part of the Republic of Kiribati, which is comprised of 33 islands, making it the largest atoll nation in the world.

Kiribati President Anote Tong said establishing the protected area ensures the people of Kiribati can always benefit from the rich ocean life of their home.

"If the coral and reefs are protected, then the fish will thrive and grow and bring us benefit," Tong said. "In this way all species of fish can be protected so none become depleted or extinct."

The Republic of Kiribati and the New England Aquarium jointly developed the project with funding and technical assistance from the Global Conservation Fund.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Sandblasting winds shift Mars' landscape

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sharks off the menu and on the tourist trail in Palau

Sep 02, 2014

In many places swimmers might prefer to avoid sharks, but wetsuit-clad tourists in Palau clamour to dive among the predators thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative that has made them one of the country's ...

Indonesia passes law to tap volcano power

Aug 26, 2014

The Indonesian parliament on Tuesday passed a long-awaited law to bolster the geothermal energy industry and tap the power of the vast archipelago's scores of volcanoes.

Recommended for you

Sandblasting winds shift Mars' landscape

1 hour ago

High winds are a near-daily force on the surface of Mars, carving out a landscape of shifting dunes and posing a challenge to exploration, scientists said Tuesday.

PanSTARRS K1, the comet that keeps going

3 hours ago

Thank you K1 PanSTARRS for hanging in there! Some comets crumble and fade away. Others linger a few months and move on. But after looping across the night sky for more than a year, this one is nowhere near ...

NASA rocket has six minutes to study solar heating

6 hours ago

(Phys.org) —On Sept. 30, 2014, a sounding rocket will fly up into the sky – past Earth's atmosphere that obscures certain wavelengths of light from the sun—for a 15-minute journey to study what heats ...

User comments : 0