Reaching from Africa to Australia, the Indian Ocean covers 23 million square miles, and is the end point for some of the world’s great rivers, including the Zambezi, Ganges, and Indus.  The Indian Ocean has numerous marine and island jewels that are critical habitat for fish, seabirds, and coral reefs.  Especially important is the Chagos Archipelago, one of the most remote and unspoiled marine areas on earth.  Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Chagos comprise 55 islands and are home to 700 species of fish, as well as turtles and dolphins.  But like the world’s other oceans, the Indian Ocean and its marine life are threatened by illegal fishing, climate change, and environmental degradation.

By the numbers
  • 175,000 breeding pairs of seabirds on the Chagos islands

  • 5.8estimated loss by east African nations because of illegal, underreported, or unregulated fishing

  • 90,000 square kilometers surrounding Maldives islands declared a marine sanctuary

Our Work

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  • The Indian Ocean

    The International Seabed Authority (ISA) was established by the Law of the Sea treaty to manage seabed miningin areas beyond national jurisdiction while protecting the marine environment. The ISA is drafting regulations toaccomplish these objectives with rules on where and how seabed mining could occur. Its regional environmentalmanagement plans, which could designate large no-mining zones, are a... Read More

  • Pew Commends 2 New States Joining the Port State Measures Agreement

    WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts praised last week’s news that Namibia and Peru have joined the Port State Measures Agreement, the first binding international treaty designed to stop illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. The news came as leaders from more than 100 countries convened Oct. 5-6 at the Our Ocean conference in Malta to discuss maritime security, marine... Read More

  • New Shark Protections Take Effect, Offering Some Hope for Recovery

    Starting today, governments around the world must ensure that the international trade in four species of sharks—bigeye, common, and pelagic threshers, and silky—is from sustainable and legal sources. These species were included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at the body’s 17th Conference of the... Read More