Two countries have just ensured the preservation of their ocean habitats – and it is being hailed as a huge victory for marine conservation worldwide.
Last week, Chile announced the establishment of two new national marine parks that will protect roughly 240,000 square miles of ocean from commercial fishing and dangerous human activity.
Additionally, the small South Pacific island nation of Niue converted 40% of its exclusive economic waters into a protected marine park. Exclusive economic zones are oceanic areas in which the country can claim exclusive rights for fishing, drilling, and other economic activities.
Given the size of the country, the Niue parks will provide protection to an impressive 49,000 square miles of ocean.
The total of both marine park additions is a whopping 340,000 square miles of protected ocean – which is roughly twice the size of Germany.
Chile’s new marine park alone has become the largest oceanic reserve of its kind in South America. According to National Geographic, the reserve is home to seals, sea lions, albatrosses, penguins, petrels, and whales. The Nieu reserves, on the other hand, will protect the world’s largest population of reef sharks in the world.
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Reprint (Photo by National Geographic’s Pristine Seas)