7 Jan 2009

SPREP interested to see what US marine protection plans will bring

11:55 am on 7 January 2009

The South Pacific Regional Environment Programme says it's interested to see what the US President's new marine protection plans for some Pacific areas will bring.

This comes as President George W Bush is to announce the creation of the world's largest marine protection area spanning half a million square kilometres including Rose Atoll in American Samoa and a chain of remote Islands in the Central Pacific.

A Marine Conservation Analyst of SPREP, Paul Anderson, says Rose Atoll, which is uninhabited has continued to be protected since 1973.

"Rose Atoll has enjoyed protection for decades already as a US Fish and Wildlife protected site. So... it really won't be changing. It will be changing in name only. It's a turtle nesting site, hawksbill and green turtle nesting sites and there's currently no exploitation at all."

Paul Anderson says he thinks the new US protection regulations may give a deep-sea section to Rose Atoll in American Samoa.