New Caledonia creates large protected marine area


This video says about itself:

National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions | New Caledonia

26 February 2014

Last year the governments of New Caledonia and Australia announced their commitment to create a large marine park in the Coral Sea extending across the maritime boundary between these two countries.

However, a large portion of the Coral Sea in New Caledonia (in particular the remote Chesterfield Banks on the western region) has barely been explored.

In November 2013, National Geographic partnered with Blancpain, the Waitt Institute and the Institute de Recherche pour le Developement (IRD) of New Caledonia to explore, survey, and film these remote reefs through a Pristine Seas expedition.

The team traveled to the Chesterfield and the Entrecasteaux Reefs on the north, as well as to Petri and Astrolabe in the east. The main objectives of this Pristine Seas expedition were to fill gaps in scientific data on this area and to produce a documentary film.

Relive the expedition in the National Geographic Explorers Journal blog.

From Mongabay.com:

New Caledonia officially creates world’s largest protected area (photos)

May 02, 2014

The government of New Caledonia last week officially created the world’s largest protected area, establishing a multi-use zone that at 1.3 million square kilometers is three times the size of Germany, reports Conservation International (CI).

The Natural Park of the Coral Sea (Le Parc Naturel de la Mer de Corail) covers all of New Caledonia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is home to 4,500 square kilometers of coral reefs, 25 species of marine mammals, 48 shark species, 19 species of nesting birds and five species of marine turtles, according to CI. And because New Caledonia is governed by France, the commitment boosts the proportion of France’s national jurisdiction marine waters under protection from four percent to 16 percent.

The protected area is zoned for multiple types of use, including fishing under a management plan that aims for sustainability.

CI says the protected area will be integrated into the Pacific Oceanscape, an initiative by 16 Pacific Island nations and six territories to collaboratively manage nearly 40 million square kilometers, and the Big Ocean Network“This is a monumental decision for New Caledonia and the entire Pacific,” said David Emmett, Senior Vice-President for Conservation International’s program in the Asia-Pacific, in a statement. “Such a measure exemplifies what other countries in the Pacific can do to fully invest in the long term health and productivity of their ocean resources.”

Expansion of marine protected areas is needed to protect fish species that perform vital ecological functions, says a new study from the Wildlife Conservation Society: here.

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