On November 28th, the Pew Environment Group, in collaboration with National Geographic and the Pitcairn Island Council, launched a call to the British government to name a highly protected marine reserve around the Pitcairn Islands, a UK overseas territory. This reserve would be the biggest in the world, and would protect an almost untouched underwater environment.
At the related event in London, the Minister for the Overseas Territories, Mark Simmonds MP, issued a statement saying he “looked forward to working with Pew Environment Group, and other stakeholders, to explore and develop options for the future management of the marine environment around Pitcairn.”
Pew has been working closely with the UK Foreign Office for many years, most notably on the 2010 declaration of the Chagos marine reserve in the Indian Ocean, which is currently the largest fully protected marine reserve in the world.
The threats to Pitcairn’s marine environment are growing. As other areas of the ocean become depleted, illegal fisherman turn to the last remaining healthy fish populations - such as those that exist around Pitcairn – and fish them out.
A marine reserve would protect Pitcairn’s presently healthy, but fragile, fish populations for this and future generations of islanders.
Read the full ministerial statement about Pitcairn, the Real Bounty below: