04/02/2010 - Britain is to establish the biggest marine nature reserve in the world, centred on the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, announced last night.
The reserve, which will contain 55 tiny coral islands sitting in a quarter of a million square miles of the cleanest seas on the planet, and supporting a pristine ecosystem teeming with wildlife, will rival the Galapagos Islands and the Great Barrier Reef in ecological richness. It is likely that fishing and other forms of ocean exploitation will be banned in the area.
"We are thrilled by the UK government's decision to declare the Chagos in its entirety as a no-take protected area," said Alistair Gammell, a founding member of the Chagos Environment Network (CEN). "The oceans desperately need better protection, and the UK has secured a conservation legacy which is unrivalled in scale and significance."
Read the full article Preserved: Britain's 'Barrier Reef' on The Independent's Web site.