07 November 2012

Mozambique approves Africa's largest marine protected area

The southern African country of Mozambique has created Africa's largest coastal sanctuary. The Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago, a chain of 10 sparsely inhabited barrier islands and two coral reef complexes, has been declared a marine protected area by the Mozambican government. The archipelago, which is covering more than 1,040,926 hectares, includes the most robust and diverse coral community in the country. It is rich in mangroves, marine life, deep underwater canyons and large seagrass beds. Due to cold nutrient-rich upwellings, the archipelago is spared coral bleaching, a common problem in other coral-rich areas, making these some of the most globally productive and important reefs on the planet.

The Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago is situated in the Indian Ocean near the coastal city of Angoche in Mozambique's northern Nampula Province. The islands lie in two groups along the western side of the Mozambique Channel.

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