Britain Names Chagos Islands World's Largest Marine Preserve

Publication: The Christian Science Monitor

Author: Peter N. Spotts


04/01/2010 - A patch of ocean roughly the size of Texas and harboring some of the world's most pristine coral reefs has received tough new protection from the British government.

The 210,000 square-mile area, which embraces the Indian Ocean's Chagos Island archipelago, now represents the world's single largest marine protected area trumping the previous record marine-conservation set-asides. President George W. Bush approved the establishment of national marine monuments around the northern Hawaiian Islands in 2006 and along the Marianas Islands in 2009.

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Britain's declaration "is a historic victory for marine conservation," says Jay Nelson, director of the Pew Environment Group's Global Ocean Legacy project. Part of the area will be a "no take" reserve, meaning no fishing or collecting of living things at all, while human activities will be strictly regulated in the rest of the larger protected area.

Read the full article Britain Names Chagos Islands World's Largest Marine Preserve on The Christian Science Monitor's Web site.

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