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New Ocean Refuge The Size Of Great Britain Will Protect Seychelles From Illegal Fishing For Generations

Source: National Geographic/Elaina Zachos - March 1, 2018 in Featured, Politics

New Ocean Refuge The Size Of Great Britain Will Protect Seychelles From Illegal Fishing For Generations
Photo: Tommaso Nervegna/Unsplash

The government of the Seychelles has created two new marine protected areas in the country’s remote Indian Ocean archipelago. The sanctioned areas will cover more than 81,000 square miles—a swath of space about the size of Great Britain.

The protected areas will be rolled out in two phases. The first phase will cover 29,000 square miles around the remote Aldabra Group in the country’s outer islands, and the second phase will protect 52,000 square miles of deep water. The total acreage will make up 16 percent of the country’s ocean territory, and it is part of an ambitious project to protect nearly 160,000 square miles of the country by 2022.

“The Seychelles waters really are some of the finest on Earth and it’s a complete delight that the government has protected them,” says Paul Rose, a National Geographic explorer who led an expedition in Seychelles in 2015.

Results from the Pristine Seas study helped provide the country’s government with the scientific proof it needed to establish the marine areas as protected.

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