On the northeast side of Australia sits the archipelago of New Caledonia, a French territory in the southwest Pacific Ocean.
the government of New Caledonia voted to protect 100% of their reefs by establishing four Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that cover 28,000 square kilometers and extend to remote areas that serve as havens for seabirds, sea turtles, and humpback whales. New Caledonia joins the Philippines and Thailand in taking protective measures to conserve coral reefs threatened by commercial fishing, tourism, and global climate change.
New protections have been allotted across the Astrolabe, Pétrie, Chesterfield, and Bellona reefs as well as Entrecasteaux reef, which is part of the original UNESCO World Heritage site. The government of New Caledonia hopes that leaving these reefs undisturbed by human activity will help the lush biodiversity within these coral reefs thrive.