The government of the Seychelles has created two new marine protected areas in the country's remote Indian Ocean archipelago. The sanctioned areas will cover more than 81,000 square miles—a swath of space about the size of Great Britain.
The protected areas will be rolled out in two phases. The first phase will cover 29,000 square miles around the remote Aldabra Group in the country's outer islands, and the second phase will protect 52,000 square miles of deep water. The total acreage will make up 16 percent of the country's ocean territory, and it is part of an ambitious project to protect nearly 160,000 square miles of the country by 2022.