7 Oct 2015

Satellite tech to police Rapa Nui marine reserve

3:12 pm on 7 October 2015

International conservationists say the cutting edge satellite surveillance tech known as 'eyes on the sea' will be employed to police the newly declared Easter Island marine reserve.

More than 300,000 square kilometres of ocean around Rapa Nui has just been declared a protected area by the Chilean government.

The idea stems from a proposal by the local Rapa Nui people working with the PEW Charitable Trust organisation to combat large scale illegal fishing in their waters.

The Director of PEW's Global Ocean Legacies, Matt Rand, says his organisation believes the 'eyes on the sea' technology will be ideal for monitoring the Rapa Nui marine reserve.

"The marine reserves are the best place to start using this type of technology because they should be a clean slate. It is an easy thing to spot. You shouldn't have a commercial fishing vessel going through your marine reserve and so it makes for an easy discovery of illicit activity taking place."

Proposed Easter Island Marine Park.

Proposed Easter Island Marine Park. Photo: The Pew Charitable Trusts