Photo by @paulnicklen | In 2004 I accompanied some of the world’s foremost coral and fish scientists, led by Dr. Greg Stone, to a tiny group of atolls in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This was my third @natgeo assignment. We were there to document an example of marine habitats where sharks and corals flourished. What we discovered when we got there was a different story.
A commercial long-liner had stripped one of the atolls of approximately 6,000 sharks in only two months, fueled by the increasing demand of the global shark fin trade. Due to our discovery, Dr. Stone and his team worked tirelessly with the Kiribati government to implement some kind of protection for these atolls. Four years later, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area was established, becoming one of the largest marine protected areas on Earth—equivalent in size to California.
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