Established: April 2014
Location: 2,000 miles east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean
Size: 1.3 million km2 or 501,933 mi2
First announced in August of 2012 in Rarotonga at the Pacific Islands Forum, formal establishment was made by legislative decree in April 2014. At a massive 1.3 million km2 the a multi-use, marine protected area covers all of New Caledonia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), increases French contributions toward the United Nations’ protection targets for 2020, and is the first contribution to the Pacific Oceanscape––a collaboration by16 Pacific Island nations and six territories to manage nearly 40 million square kilometers of ocean––by a Melanesian country or a French overseas territory.
Inspired by the commitments made by Kiribati thought its Phoenix Islands Protected Area, and the Cooks Islands through the establishment of its marine park, Marae Moana, New Caledonia ensured its park protected those features that contribute to exceptional biodiversity, including ridges, deep sediment basins, seamounts, coral reefs and volcanic structures. The park is also home to 25 species of marine mammals, 48 shark species, 19 species of nesting birds and 5 species of marine turtles.