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: Bad weather delays SpaceX launch with 3-D printer

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

Internet moguls Musk, Bezos shake up US space race

18 hours ago

The space race to end America's reliance on Russia escalated this week with a multibillion dollar NASA award for SpaceX's Elon Musk and an unexpected joint venture for Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos.

The Great Cold Spot in the cosmic microwave background

Sep 19, 2014

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is the thermal afterglow of the primordial fireball we call the big bang. One of the striking features of the CMB is how remarkably uniform it is. Still, there are some ...

User comments : 0