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The Next Great MPA: Cook Islands

October 4, 2011

On 7 September, Prime Minister Henry Puna of the Cook Islands in the South Pacific made a big announcement.  He stated that in 2012 his country will designate a marine protected area across roughly half its exclusive economic zone.  That will be a 1 million-km2 marine protected area.

To put that in perspective:  The Cook Islands MPA will be nearly twice the size of the 544,000-km2  Chagos Marine Protected Area in the Indian Ocean, which was widely considered the world’s largest MPA upon its designation just last year (MPA News 11:6). It will be almost three times the size of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (344,400-km2), which was considered the world’s largest MPA for more than a quarter-century.

Analysis and other good stories in the latest issue of MPA News.

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