Tristan da Cunha, an island with 245 permanent residents, is creating a marine protection zone to safeguard endangered rockhopper penguins, yellow-nosed albatross and other wildlife in an area of the South Atlantic three times the size of the UK.
The government of the British overseas territory, which calls itself the most remote inhabited island on Earth, on Friday said that fishing and other “extractive activities” would be banned from 627,247km2 of ocean around Tristan da Cunha and the archipelago’s three other major islands.
The sanctuary would be the biggest “no-take zone” in the Atlantic Ocean and the fourth biggest anywhere in the world, protecting fish that live in the waters and tens of millions of seabirds that feed on them, the territory said.
The isolated area, roughly equidistant between South Africa and Argentina, supports 85 percent of the endangered northern rockhopper penguins, 11 species of whales and dolphins, and most of the world’s sub-Antarctic fur seals, according to the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project.
“Our life on Tristan da Cunha has always been based around our relationship with the sea, and that continues today,” James Glass, the territory’s chief islander, said in a statement. “That’s why we’re fully protecting 90 percent of our waters, and we’re proud that we can play a key role in preserving the health of the oceans.”
The zone would become part of the UK’s Blue Belt Program, which is providing ￡27 million (US$35.63 million) to promote marine conservation in the country’s overseas territories.
The initiative has now protected 11.1 million square kilometers of marine environment, or 1 percent of the world’s oceans, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said.
The waters around Tristan da Cunha serve as a feeding ground for the critically endangered Tristan albatross and endangered yellow-nosed albatross.
The islands are also home to several species of land birds that live nowhere else, including the Wilkins bunting, the UK’s rarest bird, and the Inaccessible rail, the world’s smallest flightless bird, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
The Pew Bertarelli project, which promotes the creation of marine reserves, said that it would help Tristan da Cunha protect its waters with technology that uses real-time data to evaluate ocean conditions and human activity such as fishing.
The project is a joint venture of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Bertarelli Foundation.
“This small community is responsible for one of the biggest conservation achievements of 2020,” said Beccy Speight, chief executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. “This will protect one of the most pristine marine environments on the planet.”
14 GRIEVANCES: Australia’s values, democracy and sovereignty ‘are not up for trade,’ the prime minister said, after Beijing accused Canberra of poisoning bilateral relations Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would not compromise national security and sovereignty, as Beijing ramped up its criticism of his government and warned it against making China an enemy. “Australia will always be ourselves,” Morrison said in a television interview yesterday with the Nine Network. “We will always set our own laws and our own rules according to our national interests — not at the behest of any other nation, whether that’s the US or China or anyone else.” A Chinese diplomat in Canberra gave a document to Australian media outlets outlining 14 grievances and accusing Canberra of “poisoning bilateral
For thousands of years, the dainty Fritillaria delavayi has grown slowly on the rocky slopes of the Hengduan mountains in China, producing a bright green flower after its fifth year. The conspicuous small plant has one deadly enemy: people, who harvest the flower for traditional Chinese medicine. As commercial harvesting has intensified, Fritillaria delavayi has vanished — by rapidly evolving to produce gray and brown leaves and flowers that cannot be so easily seen by pickers. Scientists have discovered that the color of the plant’s leaves has become more camouflaged — matching the background rocks on which they grow — in areas where
On the morning of Oct. 23, a 56-year-old employee at West Japan Railway was inspecting trains when he encountered an Asian black bear just outside Tsuruga Station in Japan’s northwestern Fukui Prefecture. He escaped with just a scratch, but about 10 minutes later, the same bear fractured the leg of a worker at a nearby construction site. Four days before the incident, a male bear entered a four-story shopping center in neighboring Ishikawa Prefecture. The 1.3m-tall bear holed up in a storage room for 13 hours, until it was shot by a local hunting group. Between April and September, wild bears were spotted 13,670
Hundreds of flights at one of China’s busiest airports were canceled yesterday as Shanghai raced to bring a local COVID-19 outbreak under control. Health officials have tested thousands of staff at Pudong International Airport since a small cluster of COVID-19 cases in the city was linked to several cargo handlers. China — where the virus first emerged late last year — has largely brought the COVID-19 pandemic under control through travel restrictions and lockdowns, but it is now battling a number of domestic outbreaks in different cities. Shanghai has reported seven local infections linked to the airport this month, with most cases found