Ever wondered where the remotest inhabited island on Earth is? Far away in the South Atlantic Ocean lies a tiny island that is home to just 250 people. What makes Tristan da Cunha all the more special is the fact that it is now the Atlantic’s largest protected marine park. By Amitha Ameen

Until recently, many of us may not even have been aware of the tiny island of Tristan da  Cunha, which lies 3,701 kilometres east of South America and 2,574 kilometres west of South Africa. Just to reach this British territory, one has to take a seven-day-long boat trip from South Africa. Now, the almost 700,000 square kilometres of water around the four-island archipelago of Tristan da Cunha is set to become the fourth largest protected marine area in the world and the largest in the Atlantic region.

 

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The island is home to millions of elusive and unique species including shepherd’s beak whale, Southern right whales, sevengill sharks, the Atlantic petrel, and the blue-nose albatross. Ninety per cent of the global population of Northern rockhopper penguins and 80 per cent of sub-Antarctic fur seals call this island their home.

The protected area will help safeguard the rich biodiversity and endangered animals in the area by banning any type of deep-sea mining, fishing, and other harmful activities. The marine area will contribute to the UK’s Blue Belt Programme, an initiative that hopes to reach a target of protecting more than 30 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2030.

Travelling to the island itself is not simple as there is no airport in the archipelago. One has to board a ship from Cape Town in South Africa and obtain prior permission from the island’s council to visit.

Related: This Tour Across The Atlantic Is As Fascinating As The Ocean Itself!