UK Government to create world’s largest marine reserve around the Pitcairn Islands

Update: Peter Jones Blog at discussing challenges raised by Pitcairn announcement may be of interest to you and readers

Marine Conservation Society   Leading conservation groups, scientists and residents of Pitcairn Island today congratulate the UK Government on its decision to create the world’s largest marine reserve around the Pitcairn Islands, a UK Overseas Territory in the South Pacific.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced plans in the Budget 2015 Report. This decision begins the process of creating a fully protected marine reserve, extending from 12 miles offshore of Pitcairn Island to the full 200 nautical mile limit of the Territory’s waters, encompassing over 800,000 square kilometres of ocean, an area about 3.5 times the size of the UK.

Pitcairn’s waters host some of the best-preserved marine ecosystems on the planet and are of globally significant biological value. Over 1,200 marine species have been recorded around Pitcairn, including whales and dolphins, 365 species of fish, turtles, seabirds and corals. Forty-eight of these species are globally threatened – such as the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, and some are found nowhere else on Earth – such as the Pitcairn angelfish.

With the designation of the marine reserve, Pitcairn’s waters will become off-limits to all extractive and damaging activities, offering protection from overfishing and illegal pirate fishing, as well as deep-sea mining exploration, pollution and climate change.

Conservationists and the Island’s residents have been campaigning for the creation of a reserve around Pitcairn since 2013. In February 2015 a coalition of over 100 conservation and environmental organisations and scientists launched the campaign, to encourage the Government to create fully protected marine reserves in the UK Overseas Territories, principally around the Pitcairn Islands, Ascension Island in the Atlantic and the South Sandwich Islands in the Southern Ocean. To read more go to:

JNCC have developed offshore site information centres (SICs) for all 38 offshore Marine Protected Areas in the UK.

Site Information Centres are a one-stop-shop for all relevant information on offshore MPAs in UK waters. They include detailed sections on:

  • The site, it’s protected features and images of the flora and fauna present
  • Evidence underpinning the protected features present at a site
  • Conservation objectives and advice on operations
  • JNCC’s understanding of activities taking place within the site
  • Information on site management

There are also sections to house information on results of monitoring and assessment studies as these become available.  SICs are of use to industry, regulators, competent authorities, academia, conservationists and everyone who is interested in marine life – and we’d like your help in telling people about them please.

Site Information Centres are available via our MPA homepage . Simply click on a region in the map to bring up available SICs for that area. Alternatively, you can open up a navigation page for all SICs using our offshore MPAs page.

No Comment

Comments are closed.