Sponsor an ocean? Tiny island nation of Niue has a novel plan to protect its slice of the Pacific

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The tiny Pacific island nation of Niue has come up with a novel plan to protect its vast and pristine territorial waters — it will get sponsors to pay. The plan is being launched by Niue’s Premier Dalton Tagelagi on Tuesday in New York. Under the plan, individuals or companies can pay $148 to protect 1 square kilometer — or about 250 acres — of ocean from threats like illegal fishing and plastic waste for a period of 20 years. Niue hopes to raise more than $18 million from the scheme by selling 127,000 square-kilometer units, representing the 40% of its waters that form a no-take marine protected area.