Africa’s second largest marine protected area established

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Africa’s second largest marine protected area established

January 07, 2013 - 17:42
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Primeiras & Segundas Archipelago is declared an Environmental Protected Area by the government of Mozambique. The Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago is a chain of 10 sparsely inhabited barrier islands and two coral reef complexes situated in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mozambique and near the coastal city of Angoche. The islands lie in two groups along the western side of the Mozambique Channel.

Mozambique boasts some of the most prolific reefs systems in Africa.

Made up of ten islands off the coast of northern Mozambique, this coastal marine reserve in the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago will cover more than 4020 square miles and contains abundant coral and turtle species.

The Archipelago includes the most robust and diverse coral community in Mozambique. It is rich in mangroves, marine life, deep underwater canyons and large seagrass beds. Due to cold nutrient-rich upwellings, the Archipelago is spared coral bleaching, a common problem in other coral-rich areas, making these some of the most globally productive and important reefs on the planet.

Vegetation on these low islands includes mangrove, grass and scrub. Offshore, they are more noted for the biodiversity of their spectacular coral reefs, which support an important fishery. The archipelago also hosts the most important dugong population in the western Indian Ocean.

The European discovery of the archipelago came on 25 February 1498 during Vasco da Gama's first expedition to India.The islands became an important stopping-off point for Portuguese trading fleets sailing for India and the Orient, which were often in need of emergency repairs after rounding the Cape of Good Hope.

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