Chile plans world's biggest marine park

Chile plans world’s biggest marine park to protect Easter Island fish stocks

Local people say way of life is under threat from industrial vessels, and see plan as chance to protect environment and repair relations with mainland

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Moai statues on Easter Island. Locals say illegal fishing by industrial vessels is rampant in the ocean waters off the island. Photograph: Kashfi Halford/Bertarelli Foundation

on Easter Island

The technique would be recognisable to the fishermen’s ancestors who have worked these waters for hundreds of years. But this way of life on one of the world’s remotest inhabited islands is under threat, say local people and conservationists, from illegal fishing by industrial vessels that dwarf these tiny boats.

For many of the 7,000 people who live here and for the government of Chile, which administers the island from the mainland 2,300 miles east, the solution is a vast marine park, plans for which are set to be unveiled early next month.

Encompassing 278,000 sq miles of ocean, it would be the world’s biggest, if created before another one proposed by the UK around the Pitcairn Islands, the nearest land 1,300 miles west. Read more.