New Caledonia: Dive into the heart of an incredible marine sanctuary

New Caledonia, a French territory in the South Pacific, has created a new protective framework for its coral reefs. Covering some 28,000 km², they constitute a unique global ecosystem. Dive into the extraordinary underwater universe via these fabulous photos by journalist Christophe Migeon.
Amazing encounters under the sea

The waters of New Caledonia are home to more than 2000 species of fish including this Pygmy Seahorse photographed off the Île Kendec. There are also around 310 species of corals in this exceptional ecosystem.

To preserve its marine treasures, New Caledonia created the Coral Sea Nature Park in 2014, covering 1.3 million km². It is one of the largest protected marine areas in the world.

To preserve its marine treasures, New Caledonia created the Coral Sea Nature Park in 2014, covering 1.3 million km². It is one of the largest protected marine areas in the world.

Colourful treasures

In August 2018, the New Caledonian government took a further step to protect the precious coral reefs. They created 28,000 km² of reserves within the Nature Park. In these areas, cruises, fishing and water sports are now prohibited. Though it may seem as if they’re scowling - that’s good news for the arc-eye hawk fish that inhabit the area.

Within the new reserves, New Caledonia has created an additional preservation area of 70,000 km² in which the highest level of protection is applied. Only a handful of scientists will be allowed to enter this latest marine sanctuary.

By protecting its coral reefs, New Caledonia offers crucial support for biodiversity. Coral reefs shelter a third of all marine species, capture CO2 and protect the coasts against wave erosion...

By protecting its coral reefs, New Caledonia offers crucial support for biodiversity. Coral reefs shelter a third of all marine species, capture CO2 and protect the coasts against wave erosion...

Generous nature

The dazzling lagoon of New Caledonia has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, but don’t miss out on the interior of Grande Terre on the main island, it too is well worth a visit.