Posted by: reefrescue | April 5, 2010

U.K. Designates World’s Largest Marine Reserve

Press Release April 1, 2010

LONDON — Secretary of State David Miliband today designated the Chagos, a U.K. territory in the middle of the Indian Ocean, as a no-take marine reserve. This declaration will make it the largest marine protected area in the world, totaling more than 210,000 square miles (544,000 square kilometres), an area twice the size of the U.K. The combination of tropical islands, unspoiled coral reefs and adjacent oceanic abyss makes this area comparable in global importance to the Great Barrier Reef or Galapagos Islands.

As a fully protected marine reserve, all extractive activities, such as industrial fishing and deep sea mining, will be prohibited in the Chagos. This decision will safeguard the rich diversity of marine life found in the area.

“We are thrilled by the U.K. government’s decision to declare the Chagos in its entirety as a no-take protected area,” said Alistair Gammell with the Pew Environment Group, a founding member of the Chagos Environment Network (CEN). “The oceans desperately need better protection. In 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity, the U.K. has secured a conservation legacy which is unrivalled in scale and significance, demonstrating to the world that it is a leader in conserving the world’s marine resources for the benefit of future generations.”

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