About the Phoenix Islands


All parties wishing to enter the Phoenix Islands Protected Area need a permit. This includes private sailing vessels. Note that landing on any of PIPA’s islands without a special permit is prohibited, as is extraction of resources of any kind within 12 nautical miles of all islands. 

Permit applications MUST be submitted for consideration at least two months prior to intended entry into the MPA.

Please download the permit application and submit by e-mail or fax to:

Director, Phoenix Islands Protected Area
Email: pipaoffice@phoenixislands.org
Fax: +686 28334 or +686 29762

Permit categories:

  • Science, cultural, management, or educational studies
  • Specimen collection – special permission is required from the Principal Environment Officer and is considered as part of the Research Permit process and payment of specimen collection fee.
  • Tourism Operators – A submission of a tourism operator proposal to the PIPA Director is required. PIPA Director has authorization to issue a tourism operation permit and collect the associated permit fee.
  • Visitor/Tourist Permit – if not covered by the Tourism Operator permit, then approval of a visitor permit can be made by the PIPA Director and/or applied for when the visitor reaches Kanton Atoll.  Furthermore, if bone or catch and release fishing will be conducted in the PIPA, a permit and its associated fee will be required.
  • Special Permit – any special permission must be obtained from the Principal Environment Officer prior to the start of any activity. Again a proposal must be submitted.

Schedule of Offences and Enforcement Powers

All of the offences in the Environment Act 1999 continue to apply in relation to the PIPA. In addition, the following offences apply within the PIPA.

1. Contravention of conditions of a PIPA Environment Permit If
(a) a person is the holder of a PIPA Environment Permit; and
(b) a condition of that permit is contravened, the person commits an offence.
Liability: fine of up to $100,000AUD or imprisonment for up to five years, or both.

2. Carrying out activities that require a PIPA Environment Permit. The PIPA Management Plan specifies activities that require a PIPA Environment Permit within the PIPA.  A person who:
(a) carries out; or
(b) is responsible for, directs, causes or allows the carrying out of, an activity requiring a PIPA Environment Permit, without a PIPA Environment Permit, commits an offence.
Liability: fine of up to $100,000AUD or imprisonment for up to five years, or both.

It is important to note that the Environment (Amendment) Act 2007 (Appendix 3) gives special recognition and protection to listed World Heritage sites with a fine provision of up to $100,000 AUD and a maximum of 5 years in prison for an offence relating to a listed Kiribati World Heritage site.

Downloadable Files