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France announces the creation of a 1.66 million km² Marine Protected Area around its sub-Antarctic islands

France has announced the creation of a very large Marine Protected Area (MPA) around its sub-Antarctic islands in the southern Indian Ocean.  The new MPA will give added formal protection to the ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels that forage within it, especially those that breed on the Crozet, Kerguelen, Saint Paul and Amsterdam Islands that the MPA surrounds. At over 1.66 million km² in area, it is larger than the 1.55 million-km² Ross Sea MPA, due to come into force in December this year, and is now the World’s largest MPA.

Following on from existing MPAs around Australia’s Heard and McDonald Islands and South Africa’s Prince Edward Islands, all the sub-Antarctic island groups in the southern Indian Ocean are now surrounded by MPAs, totalling over 1.81 million km².

More information on the MPA can be found at