Environmental News

Easter Island Declared Marine Sanctuary

Easter Island Head Statues

Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet, announced on Monday the creation of one of the world’s largest marine parks, which is to be established in the waters surrounding the fabled Easter Island — that is, if the island’s indigenous people, the Rapa Nui, approve the plan.

If the plan is approved, The Guardian reports that it will result in a 243,630 square mile fishing ban in the Pacific waters. To put this in perspective, that is roughly 25,000 square miles less than the state of Texas. But regardless of the ban, local fishermen will still be allowed to fish up to 50 meters out to sea.

The move, which is aimed at stifling illegal fishing operations, marks “an important step toward establishing the world’s first generation of great parks in the sea,” according to Joshua S. Reichert with the Pew Research Center.

World famous for its Moai statues, Easter Island will now be known as a global leader in ocean conservation (…) This announcement is an important step toward establishing the world’s first generation of great parks in the sea.

The New York Post reports that the park will be the third largest on the planet.

A second marine park was announced by Chile’s president that would encompass the islands of San Felix and San Ambrosio.

Combined, the two parks would cover more than 621,000 square miles, according to the president.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, recently announced a new marine sanctuary known as the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, which will be in place come October 1, 2016.

What do you think of Chile’s plans to establish two new marine sanctuaries in the waters of the Pacific?

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