The British Government and the Tristan da Cunha Island Council recently announced they will be designating about 91 percent of the South Atlantic island chain’s Exclusive Economic Zone as a Marine Protected Area.
That area spans over 687,000 square kilometers (265,000 square miles), making it the fourth-biggest marine reserve in the world.
The final paperwork and legislation is expected to be completed next year.
The new zone is almost three times bigger than the entire United Kingdom, according to the Bertarelli Foundation, which through its Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project will help Tristan da Cunha manage the zone.
According to Dona Bertarelli, co-chair of the Bertarelli Foundation and Special Adviser for the Blue Economy to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development:
“This ambitious decision by the Tristan da Cunha Island Council to protect the archipelago’s waters is a great example of local leadership that has a global impact. Today’s announcement enhances the resilience of the Tristan da Cunha community, whilst making a significant contribution towards the science-based global target to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project looks forward to partnering with the Tristan Island Council to support the long-term implementation of the new protections for years to come.”