Leo DiCaprio helps create two huge marine reserves within the Seychelles

An space of the Indian Ocean roughly the dimensions of Britain is to be ring-fenced for marine conservation by the government of Seychelles after it accepted an modern deal to jot down off US$22 million of its sovereign debt. The sum, which was collectively owed to the governments of Belgium, France, Italy and the UK, was not written off, however moderately bought by an ecologically-minded non-governmental organisation known as The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Adding some A-list pleasure to the debt-relief deal was Leonardo DiCaprio, whose basis donated US$1 million to the trigger.

Female scuba diver admires swarm of small fish on a coral reef in Seychelles. Image by ©Rainer von Brandis/Getty Images

The Fortune Bank Marine Reserve will comprise an unimaginable 135,000 square-km and can shield aquatic life corresponding to dolphins, sharks, turtles and tuna from intensive fishing strategies, oil exploration and tourism overuse. This reserve surrounds the nation’s important island of Mahé, which sits over 1800 km east of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Seychelles tropical seashore at sundown. Image by ©TPopova/Getty Images

The different newly-protected space – the Aldabra Group Marine Reserve – covers 75,000 square-km and protects among the world’s most pristine coralline islands. Sitting greater than 1100 km southwest of Mahé, the waters round these atolls are home to unimaginable coral reefs and species corresponding to tiger and lemon sharks, dugongs and spinner dolphins. The Aldabra Atoll itself has beforehand been utilized by scientists and conservationists as a baseline to gauge what the world used to seem like – its landmass carries an astonishing six tonnes of biomass per hectare, and is the first stomping floor of greater than 100,000 Aldabra large tortoises. As such, it’s considered one of many solely locations on earth the place reptiles nonetheless dominate the ecosystem.

Hawksbill sea turtle within the Seychelles. Image by ©Alexander Shalamov/Getty Images

Incredibly, these two new marine reserves are solely the primary half of this debt-relief-for-ecological-protection bundle – one other 15% of the Seychelles marine waters are to be protected by 2021. It have to be mentioned that not everyone seems to be thrilled with the settlement, notably some Seychellois fishers who concern it is going to hamper their capacity to make a dwelling.

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