29 Mar 2006

Kiribati announces world's third-largest marine reserve

9:42 am on 29 March 2006

The President of Kiribati, Anote Tong has announced the creation of the world's third-largest marine reserve.

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area bans commercial fishing to protect more than 120 species of coral and 520 species of fish inside its 184,700 square kilometres.

It is also the world's first marine park with deep-sea habitat, including underwater mountains.

The President announced the formation of the park at the United Nations conference on the Convention on Biological Diversity under way this week in


The New England Aquarium in the United States and Conservation International, a non-governmental organization, are helping Kiribati set up the reserve and will establish an endowment to pay for the park's management costs.

The endowment will also compensate the government for revenue lost from granting fewer commercial fishing licenses.