More good news people ! New Caledonia – and France – are creating a marine protected area (MPA) of huge size : 1.3 million square kilometers : the parc naturel de la mer de Corail.
This park will be amongst the largest MPAs in the world. Thanks to that, 16 percent of the waters under French jurisdiction are now under an MPAs status, compared to just four percent before.
The management and the financing will be done by the local government, while France will care about the security and police of this critical hot spot for biodiversity.
In its Grenelle de l’Environnement, France fixed an ambitious objective of 20 percent of its territorial water being part of marine protected area by 2020 according to the French newspaper Le Monde.
Still to the newspaper, new similar projects could take place in the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia as well as in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
But back to this project in New Caledonia, as the IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature –noted :
The area was chosen to include outstanding elements and features contributing to an exceptional biodiversity. Included are ridges, deep sediment bassins, seamounts, coral reefs and volcanic structures.
The park includes the deepest site in France (7919m. deep). 25 species of marine mammals, 48 shark species, 19 species of nesting birds and 5 species of marine turtles have been inventoried.
Let’s hope this bold action by New Caledonia and France will spur growth of new marine protected areas.