World's Largest Marine Reserves
This table was updated on Sept. 15, 2016 to include recently announced and designated marine reserves.
This table lists the world's largest highly protected marine reserves. Pew's Global Ocean Legacy campaign collaborates with local communities, governments, and scientists to protect and conserve some of the planet's most important and unspoiled ocean environments through the creation of marine reserves. To date, our efforts have helped safeguard some 2 million square miles (5.2 million square kilometers) of ocean—an area 10 times the size of Central America. This accounts for about 80 percent of all fully protected ocean areas to date.
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A short illustrated book, published in French and English, tells the story of the proposal to create a large, fully protected marine reserve in the waters surrounding French Polynesia’s Austral Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. French artist Benjamin Bécue produced the colorful and playful drawings. Read More
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. Read More
France has joined the global movement to protect the world’s ocean by proposing creation of a large fully protected marine reserve in sub-Antarctic territorial waters in the southern Indian Ocean. The proposal, made by the French Environment Ministry in September, would safeguard 120,000 square kilometers (46,000 square miles) of ocean surrounding the Crozet and Kerguelen islands. Read More