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New Zealand Will Have 620,000 km² Marine Sanctuary
International, 10/6/2015

New Zealand Kermadec region will create a marine sanctuary of 620,000km² considered one of the last wild frontiers of the world, officials said.
According to Prime Minister John Key, in the UN General Assembly, the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary is one of the largest and most important totally protected areas in the world.

All kinds of fishing and mining will be prohibited in the sanctuary, which is a part of a growing network of marine protected areas along the Pacific such as the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, the Marine Reserve Coral Sea Australia or the Marine Reserve of the Pitcairn Islands, UK. All of them cover a total of 3.5 million square kilometers in the Pacific Ocean.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) praised the initiative, considering putting New Zealand "in front of the marine protection on the world stage", and recalled that many endangered species live in the Kermadec, including several species of whales and dolphins, sea turtles and fish such as tuna and swordfish.

The islands were uninhabited until a thousand years ago, when they reached the first settlers of Polynesian origin, followed by Maori and finally the Europeans, who settled the first whaling ports in the eighteenth century, until in 1934 they were declared a nature reserve.



Topic(s):    BiodiversityResources coastal / marine