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The coral reefs
Récifs coralliens

With 1,600kms of reef and 8,000 km² of coral formations, New Caledonia is surrounded by the largest lagoon in the world.  The South Province has established Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the aim of preserving the biodiversity of habitats and of encouraging the repopulation of the unprotected surround areas.  Since being set up, they have helped lead to the doubling in the number of fish species found around the protected areas. The MPA extend from Bourail to the Sarcelle Channel, i.e. 44,300 hectares of monitored areas of lagoon. 

Near Noumea, the islets of Larégnère and Signal are nature reserves which are open to the public but are regulated.  It is forbidden to: 

  • hunt, fish, collect or take samples of any element or parts of the flora, fauna, minerals, fossils, etc.
  •  disturb the animals.
  • introduce any plant or animal species there (especially dogs).
  • dump or discharge any waste or toxic products.
  • light fires other than within the special areas provided for that purpose, etc.

To know more

World Heritage Site

Since 8 July 2008, parts of New Caledonia’s lagoons, reefs and mangroves have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  This serial site is made up of six marine clusters, including two in the South Province: the Grand Lagon Sud (Great Southern Lagoon) and the western coastal area, the Zone Côtière Ouest.  They are surrounded by “buffer zones” on land and at sea, which are not part of the UNESCO inscribed site but which constitute areas for maintaining vigilance in order to improve preservation.  Read more