IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Tristan da Cunha island creates massive marine protection zone


Context: Tristan da Cunha, an island with 245 permanent residents, is creating a marine protection zone to safeguard endangered rockhopper penguins, yellow-nosed albatross and other wildlife in an area of the South Atlantic three times the size of the United Kingdom.

  • The government of the British overseas territory, which calls itself the most remote inhabited island on Earth, that fishing and other “extractive activities” will be banned from 627,247 square kilometers of ocean around Tristan da Cunha and the archipelago’s three other major islands.
  • The sanctuary will be the biggest “no-take zone” in the Atlantic Ocean and the fourth biggest anywhere in the world, protecting fish that live in the waters and tens of millions of seabirds that feed on them.
  • The isolated area, roughly equidistant between South Africa and Argentina, supports 85% of the endangered northern rockhopper penguins, 11 species of whales and dolphins.
  • The protection zone will become part of the K.’s Blue Belt Program, which is providing 27 million pounds ($35.5 million) to promote marine conservation in the country’s overseas territories.

  • The initiative has now protected 11.1 million square kilometers of marine environment, or 1% of the world’s oceans
  • The waters around Tristan da Cunha serve as a feeding ground for the critically endangered Tristan albatross and endangered yellow-nosed albatross.
  • It would help Tristan da Cunha protect its waters with technology that uses real-time data to evaluate ocean conditions and human activity such as fishing.