Boost for marine protection in southern Ocean
Prince Edwards MPA
South Africa's creation of the 18 million hectare Prince Edward Islands marine protected area - the world's seventh largest - was recognised by WWF in April with a Gift to the Earth award for leadership and inspiring example.The islands, Prince Edward and Marion, situated 2,000 km south of the country in the Southern Ocean, are a biodiversity hotspot, home to 8 million seabirds - mostly penguins - but including also five albatross species with almost 50 per cent of the world population of wandering albatross, as well as cetaceans and seals. Also an important nursery area for Patagonian toothfish, known as Chilean seabass, this was damaged by illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in the late 1990s. Protection should also help recovery of the fishery.