Our planet’s oceans received some fantastic news recently from George Osborne, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer. He announced in parliament on 18 March, that the United Kingdom will pledge to create the largest marine reserve in the world. It will encompass the British overseas territory of the Pitcairn Islands, situated between New Zealand and Chile in the Pacific Ocean. This pristine enclave of over 830,000 km2 is considered of very high ecological value. It is home to over 1,200 species of mammals, birds, fish and plants, including the world’s deepest known living plant (at 382 meters). The protected area will also include an important coral reef.
This major step came in response to requests from environmental and scientific organisations, as well as British public figures, to increase the protection of our oceans. The marine reserve will be protected from activities such as illegal fishing and deep-sea mining exploration for oil and other raw materials.