The Pitcairn Islands are a group of four remote islands – Pitcairn, Ducie, Oeno, and Henderson – in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Though the islands are themselves small, the territory has one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world, within which lies some of the most important oceanic ecosystems.
Famous as the island inhabited by descendants of the mutineers from the HMS Bounty, the waters around Pitcairn contain some of the best coral reefs in the world and intact deep-sea habitats with many species new to science. Mindful of the treasures that lie around their home, the Pitcairn islanders called for the creation of a Marine Protected Area. Accordingly, in March 2015, the British government announced their intention to ban commercial fishing and designate the territory as one of the world’s largest reserve covering 834,334 km2.
The Bertarelli Foundation, together with the Pew Charitable Trusts and the co-operation of the British Government, supported the trialling of new technologies which informed the creation of a monitoring and enforcement strategy, and paved the way, on the 15th September 2016, for the final designation of the reserve.