9 Oct 2017

Niue reserves 40 percent of its ocean as a marine reserve

8:43 am on 9 October 2017

Niue has announced a new marine park in a bid to conserve and protect its marine resources for future generations.

The rocky foreshore of Niue

Photo: RNZI/Sally Round

The park will extend over 126,909 square kilometres, and encompasses the island itself, as well as various offshore reefs and submerged atolls.

It makes up 40 percent of the nation's Exclusive Economic Zone and includes the Beveridge Reef, home to some of the highest densities of the threatened grey reef shraks found anywhere on earth.

Beveridge reef, 400km southeast of Niue.

Beveridge reef, 400km southeast of Niue. Photo: RCCNZ

The Niue premier Sir Toke Talagi said the initiative has global significance and is an effort to build awareness around climate change.

"I believe that is very very important for us firstly so we can show our own people that we care about what's happening around us and the oceans and so on," said Sir Toke.

But also to demonstrate to the world that in fact even though we might be small we are quite happy to make a contribution towards this, to ensure that they can focus the attention on the oceans that they are polluting at the present moment."

Sir Toke Talagi said commercial fishing would be banned within the sanctuary which they hope will be policed by a drone.