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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  • Oceania Leads the Way in Implementing Shark and Ray Protections

    As the number of shark and ray species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) expands, so does the need for fisheries, customs, and environment officials to identify the parts of those animals that are being traded illegally and to look into how these listings will be implemented domestically. Read More

  • The Ocean Conference

    Life on Earth depends heavily on its magnificent and complex ocean ecosystems, but the health of the marine environment is declining. In response, the United Nations will host The Ocean Conference June 5-9 in New York. Read More

  • 2016 Our Ocean Conference

    Secretary of State John Kerry will host the third annual Our Ocean conference in Washington from Sept. 15 and 16. Global leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, innovators, and representatives from nongovernmental organizations will discuss the major challenges facing the world’s oceans and how to address them. Read More