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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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
Since 2006, The Pew Charitable Trusts Global Ocean Legacy project has worked with indigenous groups, community leaders, government officials, scientists and other organizations to help protect the ocean; a part of the planet that is key to some island cultures and marine life. The Global Ocean Legacy campaign has aided in the creation of nine major marine reserves: Palau, Chagos, Coral Sea,... Read More
Traditional and cultural non-commercial fishing by the Pitcairn Islanders and their visitors is permitted in the territorial seas of all the islands, which extend out 12 nautical miles from each. Such fishing is also allowed within 2 nautical miles of the summit of 40 Mile Reef and in the transit zone between Pitcairn and 40 Mile Reef. Read More