Easter Island

Chile to create one of world's largest marine parks around Easter Island

If the island’s indigenous Rapa Nui people approve the plan after a consultation by the mainland government, fishing will be banned from a 631,368 sq km (243,630 sq miles) area – though still allowed up to 50m out for local fishermen – in an effort to stem illegal fishing.

Joshua S Reichert, lead on environment initiatives at Pew, said: “World famous for its Moai statues, Easter Island will now be known as a global leader in ocean conservation.

“This announcement is an important step toward establishing the world’s first generation of great parks in the sea.”

Rapa Nui plan massive marine reserve

The Guardian reports that encompassing 447,000 square kilometres of ocean, the reserve would be the world's biggest, if created before another one proposed by the UK around the Pitcairn Islands, the nearest land over two-thousand kilometres west.

The idea to create the reserve around Easter Island stems from concerns within the local Rapa Nui community about the impact of large-scale illegal fishing in their waters.