A ban on commercial fishing in one of the world’s most significant hotspots of marine biodiversity appears to be working, according to a new report.
The proof is in the pictures — in this case, satellite images compiled by Global Fishing Watch, a web-based platform developed by the marine conservation organization Oceana, in partnership with Google and SkyTruth.
The hotspot in question, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) — a Montana-sized swath of ocean set aside as a marine protected area by the island nation of Kiribati in 2006 — was declared off-limits to all commercial fishing in 2015. According to the report, Global Fishing Watch revealed a stark reduction in the number of fishing vessels detected there after the policy was enacted.
Located within the Republic of Kiribati in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, the Phoenix Islands are one of Earth’s last intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, boasting more than 120 species of coral and 514 species of reef fish.