Ahead of international targets by 10 years, Seychelles has designated 30% of its waters marine protected areas.

This was made official earlier this month when Seychelles President, Danny Faure, signed the legal documentation declaring 13 new areas to be protected under the National Parks and Nature Conservancy Act.

According to government mouthpiece, Seychelles News Agency, Faure said half of these designated areas were of high biodiversity and were classified as Marine National Parks. As such, little to no human activity can occur within these areas, other than sustainable tourism.

"This is the first comprehensive, large-scale Marine Spatial Plan in the western Indian Ocean, one of the first for a Small Island Developing State, and the largest Marine Spatial Plan in the world, after Norway," said the President.

According to the news agency, there are currently 18 marine protected areas in Seychelles, six of which are Marine National Parks. There are also three fisheries management protected areas, three special reserves, one protected area, and four shells reserves.