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Northern rockhopper penguins on Gough Island in the Tristan da Cunha chain. Photo: Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The waters around the remote inhabited island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic are set to become the world's fourth-largest marine sanctuary.

The big picture: Currently less than 3% of the world's ocean area is fully protected from human activity, compared to 13% of the world's much smaller land mass. With the oceans coming under increasing pressure from fishing, pollution and climate change, expanding true marine sanctuaries is more important than ever.

By the numbers: The four-island archipelago of Tristan da Cunha is a British territory that is more than 2,000 miles east of South America and a week-long boat trip from South Africa.

  • The new marine sanctuary, which was announced on Friday, will encompass 265,437 square miles, making it almost three times larger than the entire United Kingdom.

How it works: 90% of the waters around the island chain will become a full "no-take" sanctuary, meaning that fishing, mining, and any other kind of extractive activity will be banned.

  • The sanctuary will be part of the U.K. government's larger Blue Belt Programme, which already protects some 2.7 million square miles of marine ecosystems around British territory across the globe.

What they're saying: "This is a place that has a unique ecosystem that is found nowhere else," marine conservationist Enric Sala told National Geographic magazine.

Of note: The benefits of protection won't just flow to seabirds and other species that Tristan da Cunha their home.

  • A paper published last month found that expanding such marine protected areas by just 5% could help improve future fishing catches by at least 20%.

The bottom line: It wasn't that long ago that even environmentalists thought the oceans were far too vast to be affected by human activity, but we now know that's not the case. If we want the oceans and all they support to thrive in the future, we need to protect them in the present.

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The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

Far-right figure "Baked Alaska" arrested for involvement in Capitol siege

Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The FBI arrested far-right media figure Tim Gionet, known as "Baked Alaska," on Saturday for his involvement in last week's Capitol riot, according to a statement of facts filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

The state of play: Gionet was arrested in Houston on charges related to disorderly or disruptive conduct on the Capitol grounds or in any of the Capitol buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session, per AP.