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Britain to create marine reserve the size of UK in waters of Ascension Island

The British Government is to create a marine reserve only slightly smaller than the UK in the waters of Ascension Island in the South Atlantic, it has been announced.

A grant of £300,000 from the charitable Bacon Foundation will be used to close an area of just over half the island’s waters to fishing, to police a tuna fishery in line with the best international standards in the other half and to work out the final boundaries of a marine reserve which could be declared, subject to local agreement, as soon as 2017. It will measure 234,291 square kilometres. The grant, which will be administered by the charity Blue Marine Foundation for the government of the island – part of a British Overseas Territory – will enable the protection of waters described as a “hope spot” with high marine biodiversity by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

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