Niue, a small island country in the South Pacific with a population of just 1,600, established a new marine protected area that covers 40 percent of the island’s exclusive economic zone. Through the 127,000-square-kilometer (49,000-square-mile) marine reserve, the government of Niue hopes to protect its fish stocks and help reduce overfishing of threatened fish species.
In September this year, Chile announced a 740,000-square-kilometer (285,700-square-mile) marine reserve around its remote Easter Island. The Rapa Nui Rahui Marine Protected Area region is home to over 140 marine species found nowhere else on Earth, and the park will not allow industrial fishing, mining and other extractive activities. In October, Chile announced the creation of two more marine reserves. At 117,000 square kilometers (45,170 square miles), one of the new reserves covers the ocean off Diego Ramírez Islands, off South America’s Cape Horn, while the second protected area, at 484,000 square kilometers (186,870 square miles), lies around the Juan Fernández Islands in the southern Pacific.
Mexico has also announced the expansion of the Revillagigedo marine park to create the largest marine reserve of its kind in North America to protect sharks, rays, whales, turtles and other important marine species. At about 150,000 square kilometers (57,900 square miles), the park will surround four Revillagigedo Islands.