The Phoenix Islands aren’t obvious on a map—eight scattered coral atolls barely above sea level in the equatorial western Pacific. These specks form the most remote coral island archipelago in the world, 1,000 miles from large airports on Hawaii and Fiji and equally far from the capital of their own country of Kiribati.
These tiny reef-fringed islands are the core of the world’s largest marine protected area, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA). It was established in 2008 by the government of Kiribati, working with the New England Aquarium (NEAq) and Conservation International, through the efforts of scientist Greg Stone, senior vice president for exploration and conservation at NEAq. Story and photographs