30 Jan 2008

Greenpeace hails Kiribati move to protect Phoenix Islands waters

2:43 pm on 30 January 2008

Greenpeace has welcomed Kiribati's decision to declare the Phoenix Islands as the world's largest protected area.

Kribiati made the announcement yesterday.

The Phoenix Islands are located about halfway between Fiji and Hawaii.

The protection zone is 185,000 square kilometers and consists of underwater mountains, coral reefs and has more than 520 species of fish.

Greenpeace's Pacific Oceans teamleader, Nilesh Goundar, says there's a wide range of threats facing the Pacific Ocean and protecting areas like the Phoenix Islands is very important.

"Marine reserves are a way of ensuring that we have fish for all the future generations to come. Overfishing is the largest threat to our oceanic ecosystem."

Nilesh Goundar

Commercial fishing is now prohibited in the zone.