Ocean Sanctuary

About 735,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean have been declared one of the world’s largest marine sanctuaries as the Cook Islands moves to help protect its territorial waters for future generations.

The island nation has a population of only about 10,000, living on 15 islands. But its position between New Zealand and Hawaii with no nearby neighbors means it controls a huge maritime territory.

The move to establish the marine reserve, known as Marae Moana, was approved by the country’s traditional leaders.


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