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Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa

Africa's largest marine conservation area is being created in the waters of Gabon

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There's news from the west coast of Africa.

The largest marine conservation area in the continent is being created - a network of 9 new national marine parks and 11 new aquatic reserves is going to extend across a massive 20,500 square miles in territorial waters and out into Gabon's economic zone.  The area covers 26% will protect 26 percent of Gabon’s territorial seas.

The move will help protect fish stocks from over-fishing and also help the area cope better with changing climates and give the corals there a chance to recover.

The goal is to protect the waters for generations to come, and Ali Bongo Ondimba, who took over the presidency of the country after his father died in 2009, sees them the areas as precious as the rainforests which cover 90% of Gabon.  

The Gabon waters have some of the world's largest stocks of Altantic tuna, so there is a danger of overfishing.   The hope is that fish stocks will be revived and the breeding grounds of whales, dolphins and turtles will be protected by the move. 

Thank you, Gabon, for caring about the future of our waters for generations to come, both people and marine life. 


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