Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve

Marine Reserve Sheetlet
Since early 2011 the Pew* Environment Group’s Global Ocean Legacy project has been working with the Pitcairn islanders on the idea of establishing a large scale marine reserve within their waters. In 2012 a scientific survey of the Pitcairn Islands marine environment started the process of establishing a case for the designation of a marine reserve. The expedition, conducted by the National Geographic Pristine Seas Project, revealed a vibrant untouched ecosystem. The survey showed that the waters of the Pitcairn Islands contain one of the two remaining raised coral atolls on the planet, as well as 40 Mile Reef, the deepest and most well-developed coral reef known in the world. In 2013 Pew and the National Geographic joined the locally elected body, the Pitcairn Island Council, in submitting a proposal to the UK Government calling for the creation of a marine reserve to protect these spectacular waters. In September 2016 the Pitcairn Island Marine Reserve was legally announced and is recognised as the fourth largest marine reserve in the world. Under this designation all fishing and seabed mining is banned in the area 12-200 nautical miles from the coast of each of the four islands in the Pitcairn Archipelago (an area of about 836,000 square kilometres – 3 ½ times the size of the UK). Within the waters up to 12 miles from the coast of each island, the Pitcairn community is permitted to fish sustainably.
Marine Reserve Datestamp
Home to at least 1,249 species of marine mammals, seabirds and fish, the new reserve protects some of the most pristine ocean habitat on Earth. This designation “will protect the true bounty of the Pitcairn Islands” said National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala, head of the Pristine Seas Project. “Our scientific exploration of the area revealed entirely new species as well as an abundance of top predators like sharks. It was like travelling to a new world full of hidden and unknown treasures”.

The Pitcairn Island Council added “the people of Pitcairn are extremely excited about this designation as one of the world’s largest, highly protected marine reserves in our vast and unspoiled waters of the Pitcairn Islands, including Ducie, Oeno, and Henderson Islands. We are proud to have developed and led this effort in partnership with Pew and National Geographic to protect these spectacular waters we call home for generations to come.”Eyes on the Seas

The UK Government sought to review cost effective monitoring and enforcement options for the highly isolated marine reserve. The Pew Trusts, in partnership with the UK Government Innovation Centre’s ‘Satellite Applications Catapult’, responded. They developed and adopted a 21st century solution - Project Eyes on the Seas (EOS) - which uses multiple layers of information, including that derived from satellites, to identify where vessels are, who they are, and what they are doing. Over a one year trial period, the technology demonstrated that Pitcairn is a high compliance area, with no illicit activity identified within the Marine Protected Area. Through the trial the UK Government recognised that it could enforce highly protected marine reserves remotely, in a way that is affordable and efficient. In the years to come the Pew Trusts, in partnership with the Bertarelli Foundation, will continue to fund the monitoring of the Pitcairn Island Marine Reserve using EOS, and in so doing will provide information that can alert UK Government officials of suspicious activity that they can act upon in a timely manner.

*Pew is a global research, environmental and public policy organisation, operated as a non-partisan, non-governmental Trust dedicated to serving the public.
Marine Reserve FDC

Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve
Please Note: All prices are in New Zealand Dollars
Sheetlet with 8 stamps
First Day Cover with stamp set

Technical Details

Denise Durkin, Wellington, New Zealand

Pitcairn Stamps
proudly brought
to you by:

Bounty Post
Printer: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand
Process: Offset Litho
Stamp size: 32.00 mm x 23.57 mm horizontal
Format: Sheetlet of 8 stamps. Sheet size 152 mm x 107 mm
Perforation Gauge: 13.125 x 13.575
Denominations: $1.00 x 4 stamps and $2.00 x 4 stamps
Paper: 103gsm Tullis Russell Yellow/Green phosphor stamp paper
Period of Sale:
26 July 2017 for a period of 2 years
Acknowledgement: The Philatelic Bureau wishes to thank the following in making this issue possible: PEW Charitable Trusts; National Geographic; Dave McAloney and the Pitcairn Community.