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Congo Republic Creates First Reserves to Protect Whales, Turtles

Several male southern right whales chasing after one female to try and mate with her, Nuevo Gulf, Valdes Peninsula, Argentina.
Photographer: wildestanimal/Moment RF/Getty Images

The Republic of Congo will establish its first three marine reserves, covering 4,330 square kilometers (1,672 square miles) of the Atlantic, an organization that advised the government said. 

The reserves will cover 12% of the West African country’s ocean zone and will protect areas used as breeding grounds by leatherback turtles and humpback whales, the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement on Thursday. The areas are also inhabited by open ocean whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, and 40 other species of sharks and rays.