Nya Zeelands regering har beslutat att skydda ett havsområde i Kermadec-regionen i Stilla havet, cirka 1 000 kilometer nordost om landet, det här rapporterar bland annat The Guardian.

The Kermadec ocean sanctuary, som det marina reservatet kallas, är 620 000 kvadratkilometer stort. Här kommer allt fiske förbjudas. Det blir inte heller tillåtet att utvinna någon olja, gas eller mineraler i området. Beslutet välkomnas av bland annat Världsnaturfonden.

Foto: NZ Ministry of Environment/EPA

Foto: NZ Ministry of Environment/EPA

Landets miljöminister, Nick Smith, säger i ett pressmeddelande:

– Oceans are the new frontier for environmental protection. They make up 72 per cent of the globe and are home to half of the world’s species, but currently only two per cent is protected. There is increased pressure from over-fishing, mining and pollution, with the populations of fish and seabird species estimated to have halved over the past 40 years

Nya Zeelands miljödepartement skriver på sin hemsida om varför det skyddade området är så unikt:

The Kermadec area is one of the most pristine and unique places on earth. It includes the world’s longest chain of underwater volcanoes and the world’s second deepest ocean trench at over 10 kilometres – deeper than Mount Everest is tall. Its waters are also home to six million seabirds of 39 different species, over 150 species of fish, 35 species of whales and dolphins, three species of sea turtles – all endangered – and many other marine species like corals, shellfish and crabs unique to this area. The region also provides an important migration path for species crossing the Pacific.