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Current Affairs

Tristan da Cunha protected marine reserve

Date: 15 November 2020 Tags: Biodiversity

Issue

UK Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha, which is home to the world’s most remote human settlement, declared the largest fully protected marine reserves in the Atlantic Ocean at 687,000 square kilometres. 

 

Background

This move will close over 90 percent of their waters to harmful activities such as bottom-trawling fishing, sand extraction, and deep-sea mining.

 

Details

  • Tristan da Cunha is a small chain of islands in the South Atlantic and the water around the islands are considered to be the richest in the world.

  • The mountainous archipelago Tristan da Cunha is home to tens of millions of seabirds and several unique land birds that are comparable to the Galapagos island finches.

  • Some of its seabirds that are not found anywhere else in the world face threats including illegal and unregulated fishing activities, overfishing, plastic pollution, and climate change. 

  • The island group is also home to the World Heritage Site of Gough and Inaccessible Islands, which is one of the most important seabird islands in the world.

  • After joining the UK’s Blue Belt Programme, it will become the largest no-take zone in the Atlantic and the fourth largest on the planet. This means fishing, mining and any such activities will not be allowed.

  • The Marine Protection Zone (MPZ) is almost three times the size of the UK and will safeguard the future of sevengill sharks, yellow-nosed albatrosses, and rockhopper penguins.