Statement

Pew Applauds France’s Full Protection of Marine Areas Surrounding the Crozet and Kerguelen Islands

Action increases highly protected area in southern Indian Ocean by more than 100,000 square kilometers

About

Crozet and Kerguelen penguins

Full protection of the waters around the Crozet and Kerguelen islands is critical to ensure a healthy ocean ecosystem in an area where the rich biodiversity includes marine mammals, fish, and seabirds.

© Jean Philippe Palasi

PARIS—The Pew Charitable Trusts today joined several environmental groups in praising the announcement by the French government of its expansion of the Réserve naturelle nationale des Terres australes françaises, a marine reserve in French-controlled sub-Antarctic waters of the southern Indian Ocean.

The decision, initiated and led by the French government, increases the reserve’s size from 15,700 to 120,000 square kilometers (46,000 square miles), and encompasses seven fully protected areas surrounding the remote islands of Crozet and Kerguelen.

“France’s move to extend its full protection of sub-Antarctic waters by more than 100,000 square kilometers increases the percentage of highly protected French waters from 0.25 percent to 1.3 percent, moving the nation closer to its target to protect 10 percent of its ocean by 2020,” said Nicole Aussedat, a Paris-based officer with Pew’s Global Ocean Legacy campaign.

Full protection of the waters around the Crozet and Kerguelen islands is critical to ensure a healthy ocean ecosystem in an area where the rich biodiversity includes marine mammals, fish, and seabirds—­with majestic animals such as orcas, several species of penguin, Antarctic fur seals, and the critically endangered Amsterdam albatross.

“As science continues to reinforce the value of large-scale, fully protected marine reserves as climate refuges,  France’s decision to protect its sub-Antarctic waters is another step toward the sustainable future health of the planet,” Aussedat said.

About The Pew Charitable Trusts
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at www.pewtrusts.org.

About Global Ocean Legacy
Global Ocean Legacy is a partnership established in 2006 to promote the creation of marine reserves in the world’s oceans. Current partners include The Pew Charitable Trusts, Bloomberg PhilanthropiesLyda HillOak FoundationThe Robertson Foundation, and The Tiffany & Co. Foundation. Learn more at www.globaloceanlegacy.org.

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