France 1-1 UK

06 March 2012 | News story

At the end of February 2012, France and UK announced new marine protected areas (MPA) in their overseas territories. France has created the Marine Park of the Glorieuses as part of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF) located in Indian Ocean, while the UK have declared an MPA around the South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands in the Southern Ocean. 

Marine Park of the Glorieuses (France)

The Marine Park of the Glorieuses is the second MPA in the French overseas territories located in Indian Ocean. With the neighbouring Marine Park of Mayotte, France has adopted a MPA of over 110 000  km² .  

The Marine Park of the Glorieuses is hosting a precious reef, which is 17 km long and covers an area of 165 km². It serves as a refuge area for many threatened species such as marine turtles, marine mammals, sharks and rays, as well as marine birds.  The Glorieuses is part of the Scattered Islands, which is one of the five districts of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF).  

"Located in an almost untouched archipelago, this emblematic area with its rich marine biodiversity constitutes a reference globally and an extraordinary platform for scientific research," said Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing.

MPA of the South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands (UK)

This MPA covers an area of over one million km² (equivalent to four times the terrestrial area of the UK) of the Southern Ocean, and includes over 20,000  km² of no-fishing zones.

This MPA draws together a range of new and existing policies to help further protect the rich biodiversity of the islands, which has some of the most important and productive fish spawning grounds in the Southern Ocean. The area is also home to seven species of globally threatened seabirds and so is of great international importance. Protecting these populations is now more important than ever.

“I am delighted that the UK has been able to demonstrate further evidence of our ongoing commitment to marine conservation and protection of the globally important biodiversity of our Overseas Territories,” said Henry Bellingham, the UK Foreign Office Minister.