09 January 2009

The largest Marine Protected Area

The US is going to establish the world's largest oceanic protected area in the Pacific.

The area will span about 190,000 square miles in the Pacific Ocean and will include the so-called ‘trio of marine national monuments’: the Mariana Trench and Northern Mariana Islands, the Rose Atoll in American Samoa and a chain of remote islands in the Central Pacific.

The area covered include some of the most remote islands and some of the most biologically diverse places on the planet including coral reefs and atolls, undersea volcanoes, hot seafloor vents and submarine pools of sulphur thought to be unique on earth.

In this part of the Pacific Ocean fishing will be probably banned or limited in many island areas, volcanoes and hydrothermal vents along the ocean floor beneath the Mariana Islands will also be protected.

Silvia Bonizzoni

Photo: Marina Costa / Tethys

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