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Maldives creates world’s biggest marine reserve

June 21, 2012
"It will become the single largest marine reserve in the world. This policy will allow only sustainable and eco-friendly fishing. It will exclude deep-sea, purse-seining and other destructive [trawling] techniques"
- President Mohamed Waheed

The Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives announced at the Rio+20 summit it would create the world’s biggest marine reserve to protect its fisheries and biodiversity.

He did not spell out how big the reserve would be, but said: “We can do it in a short time. I hope we can do it in five years.”

Sue Lieberman, deputy director of the Pew Environment Group, a U.S. non-governmental organization, said the announcement was “highly significant … and a great commitment,” given that a marine reserve carried a much tougher status than a marine-protected area.

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