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Panama, Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica on Tuesday said they would combine their marine reserves to create the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor, a vast fishing-free area spanning more than 500,000 square kilometers, or 200,000 square miles.

The new Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor will be one of the world’s most important migratory routes.

The decision reflects a growing initiative to protect 30 percent of the planet’s oceans by 2030. Currently, just under 3 percent of the ocean lies within a highly protected zone, according to the U.K.-led 30x30 campaign, which heads the initiative.

The expansion connects Ecuadorian and Costa Rican waters, forming a “safe swimway” where migratory species can travel.
The expanded Galapagos protected area will be split into two sections: a no-take zone of roughly 30,000 square kilometers to the northeast of the Islands, and a no-longline fishing zone that wraps around the existing marine reserve on the northwest side.

Source: The Hill