During the One Ocean Summit in Brest (France) on Friday, February 11, the President of French Polynesia, Edouard Fritch, announced the creation of a network of marine protected areas of more than one million km² within the Polynesian EEZ.
There will be two reserves of 500,000 km2 each. The first one (Rahui nui), is located in the south-eastern part of the exclusive economic zone of French Polynesia. The second one will be created before the end of this year. It is a network of marine protected areas reserved for artisanal fishing around each of the 118 Polynesian islands. French Polynesia thus becomes one of the international leaders in marine conservation.
A global hotspot of marine biodiversity
The waters of the southern and eastern EEZ are still very well preserved and constitute a true global hotspot of marine biodiversity with very high rates of endemism for corals, algae, fish, crustaceans and pelagic fish populations, such as tuna, marlin and swordfish.
Less conflict between fishermen
The protection measures reserved for artisanal food fisheries around the 118 islands of French Polynesia will improve the management of conflicts between industrial and coastal fishermen who shared the same waters. They will also provide important ecological benefits for the protection of coastal ecosystems around the islands.