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.
Proposal for an Austral Islands marine reserve
Our WorkView All
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
Jérôme Petit directs Pew's Global Ocean Legacy campaign in French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Working out of Papeete on Tahiti, Petit supports the effort by Austral Islands municipalities to create a 1 million-square-kilometer (386,000-square-mile) marine reserve in their waters. Read More
The five inhabited islands of French Polynesia’s Austral archipelago—Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai, Raivavae, and Rapa—have come together to propose to the central government in Tahiti that a large, highly protected marine reserve be created in their waters. 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.