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New Caledonia government boosts marine protections within Natural Park of the Coral Sea

The government of New Caledonia recently announced that it would highly protect 10% of its ocean to safeguard ecologically important marine areas for sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, whales and seabirds.

A decade ago, New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France, located in the western Pacific Ocean, already established its entire 1.3-million-square-kilometer (502,000-square-mile) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as a marine protected area (MPA) — an area known as the Natural Park of the Coral Sea. However, only 2.4% of this park was highly protected, where industrial activities like fishing, drilling and mining were prohibited. These activities were permitted in the remaining 97.6%.

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