The community of the Pitcairn Islands, the National Geographic Society and The Pew Charitable Trusts have come together to call for the establishment of a large highly protected marine reserve within the exclusive economic zone (the area of ocean from the shoreline out to 200 nautical miles) of the Pitcairn Islands.
Though they’re most famous as the resting site of the HMAV Bounty, the Pitcairn Islands’ harbour a far greater treasure: their natural heritage. The global biological value of the marine ecosystems of the Pitcairn Islands is outstanding, and deserves strict protection and recognition. A large no-take reserve, while allowing for traditional small-scale uses by the local population, would conserve this unique environment, attract scientific and conservation interest in studying and protecting the area, and could also increase tourism to the islands, all of which would benefit the local economy.
The case for creating a highly protected marine reserve in the Pitcairn Islands is compelling, and we are therefore asking the British Foreign Secretary, working through the Governor of the Pitcairn Islands, to declare such a reserve. If this decision were taken, it would create the largest highly protected marine reserve in the world (at over 800,000 square kilometres) and make a major contribution to the internationally agreed target of protecting 10 percent of the ocean.