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Protecting the Rapa Nui's Ocean Paradise

Waters around Easter Island support thriving ecosystem

On Oct. 5, Chilean president Michelle Bachelet announced one of the world’s largest fully protected marine parks in the waters surrounding Easter Island, a Chilean territory in the South Pacific Ocean.

At 631,368 square kilometers (243,630 square miles), the new marine park will be the third-largest fully protected area of ocean in the world. The indigenous community of Easter Island—or Rapa Nui, as the island, its indigenous people, and their language are known—proposed the park to safeguard the biodiversity of the island’s waters, which are home to 142 endemic species, 27 of which are threatened or endangered. The park also will help the Rapa Nui continue centuries-old subsistence fishing practices within an area that extends 50 nautical miles from the shoreline.

This page was updated on October 5, 2015.

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