Pitcairn Seeks To Establish World’s Largest Marine Reserve

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Island residents hope effort will boost tourism

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 29, 2012) – Residents of Pitcairn Island believe the establishment of what could be the world’s largest marine reserve in their waters could boost ecotourism.

Leaders of the four Pitcairn Islands are working with the international conservation organisation, Pew Environment Group, on the prospect of creating a Marine Protected Area within its Exclusive Economic Zone of 880,000 square kilometres.

The Deputy Governor of the British Overseas Territory, Kevin Lynch says the discussions have included the economic viability of a marine reserve, potential fishing licences and tourism.

"I think ecotourists are always interested in MPAs. There’s certainly been an interest in the past. And increasing tourism for Pitcairn is another way of raising revenue for the island and exposing people to the island."

Kevin Lynch there is a possibility of creating a hybrid system that would include a marine reserve with some commercial fishing.

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