Terug naar het overzicht

Easter Island votes for world’s newest marine reserve

27 / 02 / 2018, Mongabaycom News

Stone heads loom in the imagination of most people when they think of Easter Island. Known as Rapa Nui to its inhabitants, who also go by the name Rapa Nui as a people, the island sits in a remote corner of the Pacific Ocean, 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) west of Chile. Like the mysterious stone Moai that line the landscape, there is more to this place than is visible from the surface. Easter Island’s world-renowned Moai statues were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. Photo: Eduardo Sorenson/The Pew Charitable Trusts. Some 142 marine species found nowhere else on Earth (27 of which are at risk of extinction) and 77 percent of the Pacific’s fish abundance thrive in the waters around Rapa Nui. An expedition in early 2017 uncovered even more species, some new to science, in the depths surrounding the island, many of which were striking shades of red and orange. In the depths of the ocean, as the sunlight fades, red wavelengths of light are absorbed first, rendering many of the new discoveries, such as the sunset-colored Anatolanthias fish and the ochre-hued sea biscuit (a burrowing, urchin-like creature) virtually invisible in the twilit water. Nearer the surface, coral reef fish like Pseudolabrus semifasciatus, a wrasse species splashed in purple, yellow and monochrome tiger stripes, are a vivid reminder of the region’s unique biodiversity. Almost one-quarter of all fish swimming off the island reside permanently near the surface. In a bid to preserve these species, a new…

Naar artikel