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: Start of dwarf planet mission delayed after small mix-up

Related Stories

First hatch of critically endangered species

Apr 15, 2015

Six tiny nestlings at San Diego Zoo Global's facilities in Hawai'i are being closely watched by conservation biologists. These six chicks represent hope for a small Hawaiian bird species known as the 'Akikiki. ...

MPA fails to protect sharks and rays

Mar 24, 2015

New research led by researchers at the University of Victoria raises serious concerns about the ability of marine protected areas (MPAs) to effectively protect wide-ranging iconic species, such as sharks and rays.

Recommended for you

The riddle of galactic thin–thick disk solved

Apr 24, 2015

A long-standing puzzle regarding the nature of disk galaxies has finally been solved by a team of astronomers led by Ivan Minchev from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), using state-of-the-art ...

Giant cosmic tsunami wakes up comatose galaxies

Apr 24, 2015

Galaxies are often found in clusters, with many 'red and dead' neighbours that stopped forming stars in the distant past. Now an international team of astronomers, led by Andra Stroe of Leiden Observatory ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.