World's largest marine reserve
Condensed by Native Village
Britain created the
world's largest marine reserve when
it banned fishing around the
archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The
archipelago a cluster of 55 islands that cover an area larger than
Commercial fishing will also be
halted around the Chagos Islands for research and
to preserve coral reefs and at least
60 endangered species.
The move will "double the global
coverage of the world's oceans under protection," said
Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.
He added that the area "offers great
research in all fields of
oceanography, biodiversity and many
aspects of climate
change, which are core research
issues for U.K. science."
The move doesn't affect the U.S.
military base on the island of Diego
Conservation groups and scientists
say the archipelago is some of the world's
cleanest ocean. They add that it
will be as important as the
Great Barrier Reef or Galapagos
Islands for research.
"Nearly three quarters of the
planetís surface is water,
but surprisingly little of it is
protected," said Jay Nelson of
"For more than a century we have had
foresight to protect the Grand
Yellowstone National Park
on land, but only recently have we turned our
attention to protecting similarly
significant places in the sea."
Miliband said the protected zone
would cover 210,000 square miles of
ocean where 220 types of coral,
1,000 species of fish and 33
different seabirds life.
The area is also a safe haven
for dwindling numbers of sea
turtles and over 175,000 pairs of
The Chagos Environment Network will replace the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National
Monument, in Hawaii, as the world's
largest marine reserve.
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