About Big Ocean

“Big Ocean is a network that fosters peer-based learning and support––for managers, and to-be managers, by managers.”   Download brochure

Managers and partners of Big Ocean’s founding member sites gathered for a historic photo to document the first ever meeting of managers of the world’s largest MPA. Photo credit info: Big Ocean Managers and partners of Big Ocean’s founding member sites gathered for a historic photo to document the first-ever meeting of managers of the world’s largest MPAs. Photo: Big Ocean

Recognizing the need to learn from each other, site managers from the world’s largest MPAs met on December 6, 2010 in Honolulu and launched Big Ocean: A Network of the Worlds Large-Scale Marine Managed Areas. Co-convened by the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and World Heritage Site and the Phoenix Islands Protected Area and World Heritage Site under a bi-lateral “sister-site” relationship, this historic, inaugural meeting produced the first ever Managers’ Communiqué on the importance, contributions and needs of large-scale MPAs.

Big Ocean’s members are the large-scale MPA sites, represented by their managers and designated representatives. Members may also invite the participation of non-manager staff from their support network of donors, researchers, NGO partners and others from the private sector.

Member Sites
In chronological order of their establishment–– founding Members are the first six sites listed.

  1. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (344,000 km2, or 134,363 mi2) and World Heritage Area – Australia. (1975)
  2. Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve––now Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and World Heritage Site (362,074 km2 or 139,797 mi2) - United States. (2000)
  3. Phoenix Islands Protected Area and World Heritage Site (408,250 km2 or 157,585 mi2) - Republic of Kiribati. (2006)
  4. Mariana Trench Marine National Monument (246,609 km2 or 95,216 mi2) - United States. (2009)
  5. British Indian Ocean Territory Marine Reserve (545,001 km2 or 210,425 mi2) - United Kingdom. (2010)
  6. Motu Motiro Hiva Marine Park (150,000 km2 or 57,900 mi2) - Chile. (2010)
  7. Cook Islands Marine Park (1.065 million km2 or 411,000 mi2) Cook Islands. (2012)