The waters around French Polynesia, a French overseas territory in the South Pacific Ocean, comprise the world’s largest contiguous exclusive economic zone. At 5 million square kilometers (1.9 million square miles), the territory’s waters span an area as large as the landmass of the European Union. These vast and healthy waters are home to 21 species of sharks and an exceptional coral reef system that supports 176 coral and 1,024 fish species.
Pew’s Global Ocean Legacy team was invited by the mayors and local communities of the Austral Islands, one of the five archipelagos that make up French Polynesia, to collaborate on efforts to designate a large-scale marine reserve in their waters.
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In November 2013, French Polynesia’s government committed to protecting at least 20 percent of the French territory’s waters by 2020. More than 50 local organizations voiced support for this goal at a June 2014 event celebrating the local visit of the Hokule’a—the traditional Polynesian vessel and its crew that stopped in Tahiti as part of its travels from Hawaii across the Pacific to promote... Read More
Where We Work
Global Ocean Legacy works with local communities, governments and scientists around the world to protect and conserve some of our most important and unspoiled ocean environments.