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Conservation groups have hailed a move by Niue to set nearly half of its marine estate aside as a vast new reserve.
The tiny island nation, population 1624, will establish a new marine protected area (MPA) to cover 40 per cent of the island's exclusive economic zone.
The 127,000 sq km MPA includes much of the waters around Niue itself as well as nearby Beveridge Reef, an uninhabited, semi-submerged atoll that has the largest density of grey reef sharks in the world.
Once established, it will be the 28th largest MPA in the world.
The initiative was part of the Niue Ocean Wide (NOW) project to manage the island's resources through a public-private partnership between the country's government and a local non-profit organisation Tofia Niue.
"We need to invest for our future generations, so they can enjoy the bounties that we enjoyed and know that we cared about them," Niue Premier Sir Toke Talagi said.
"The Government of Niue is happy to support this project and we look forward to working with others who want to help us protect our resources."