Current projects include efforts to create marine reserves in New Caledonia, the Austral Islands of French PolynesiaThe Galápagos IslandsSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and Ascension Island, and to complete the process to create two marine protected areas (MPAs) that governments have announced: Australia’s Coral Sea Marine Park and the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary in New Zealand. MPAs that governments have already designated as a result of our work include Rapa Nui Marine Protected Area and Motu Motiro Hiva Marine Park in Chile, and Revillagigedo Archipelago National Park in Mexico.

Turtle, Ascension Island
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Ascension Island

Ascension Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands on Earth, located in the South Atlantic Ocean midway between Angola and Brazil.

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Ascension Island

Ascension Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands on Earth, located in the South Atlantic Ocean midway between Angola and Brazil. It forms part of the U.K. Overseas Territory of St. Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha.

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French Polynesia

The waters around French Polynesia are home to 21 species of sharks and an exceptional coral reef system that supports 176 coral and 1,024 fish species.

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French Polynesia

The waters around French Polynesia, a French overseas territory in the South Pacific Ocean, make up 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. The mayors and communities of the Austral Islands, one of the five archipelagoes that make up French Polynesia, invited the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy team to collaborate on efforts to designate a large-scale marine reserve in their waters.

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New Caledonia

New Caledonia is home to an incredible array of marine life, including more than 1,700 fish and 473 coral species, and one of the world’s largest lagoons.

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New Caledonia

New Caledonia, a French overseas territory in the South Pacific Ocean, is home to an incredible array of marine life, including more than 1,700 species of fish and 473 species of coral. The waters of the territory’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) span 1.3 million square kilometers (501,932 square miles), within which lies one of the world’s largest lagoons. In April 2014, New Caledonia created the Natural Park of the Coral Sea, which includes the entire EEZ. A government committee is developing a management plan that will define the regions of the park, how they will be used, and their levels of protection. The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy team is pleased to have been invited by the government to join the park management committee. Other members include representatives from the government, local institutions, environmental organizations, local communities, international and local nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector.

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Revillagigedo

The remarkable ecological and geological landscape of the Revillagigedo Archipelago earned the island chain in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016.

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Revillagigedo

The remarkable ecological and geological landscape of the Revillagigedo Archipelago earned the island chain in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016. The four volcanic islands—Socorro, Claríon, San Benedicto, and Roca Partida—are sometimes referred to as the Mexican Galapagos and sit about 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of the Baja Peninsula. The waters around the islands have the highest number of coral species in the Mexican Pacific, which helps support an ecosystem with 366 species of fish, including 26 found nowhere else. Four species of sea turtles nest, feed, and breed on the archipelago, while at least 28 species of sharks have been observed in the region. Humpback whales, which seek warmer waters for their calving grounds, make their winter home in Revillagigedo.

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South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands lie more than 1,700 kilometers (1,050 miles) from the southern tip of South America in a remote expanse of the South Atlantic Ocean.

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South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands lie more than 1,700 kilometers (1,050 miles) from the southern tip of South America in a remote expanse of the South Atlantic Ocean. While mostly uninhabited by humans, the area hosts what could be the single largest concentration of marine species in the world. In the past, the wildlife of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands was seriously depleted by overexploitation, mostly in the form of whaling. The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project and its partners are exploring the feasibility of enhancing marine protections in the waters around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

Tristan da Cunha
Tristan da Cunha
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Tristan da Cunha

The waters of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago cover a vast area in the South Atlantic Ocean nearly three times the size of the United Kingdom’s mainland.

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Tristan da Cunha

The waters of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago cover a vast area in the South Atlantic Ocean nearly three times the size of the United Kingdom’s mainland, with an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 754,000 square kilometres (291,121 square miles).

Turtle swimming
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Galapagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands provide a critical refuge for migratory species, and hosts some of the world’s highest levels of endemism—species found nowhere else on the planet.

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Galapagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands are more than 1,100 kilometers from the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. This world-renowned ecosystem is known as the “living laboratory of evolution,” provides a critical refuge for migratory species, and hosts some of the world’s highest levels of endemism—species found nowhere else on the planet.

Data Visualization

Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project, 2017

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Data Visualization

The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project builds upon a decade of work by the Global Ocean Legacy campaign that has helped safeguard more than 2.4 million square miles (6.3 million square kilometers) of ocean by working with local communities, governments, scientists, and other stakeholders around the world.