Chagos Archipelago to Become World’s Largest Marine Reserve

by , 04/05/10

chagos archipelago, chagos, mauritius
In a move that will double the amount of the planet’s protected oceans, the U.K. announced late last week that it is turning the Chagos Archipelago into the world’s largest marine reserve. The 55-island, U.K.-owned archipelago in the Indian Ocean contains 220 species of coral, 1,000 types of fish, 33 species of seabirds, and a number of sea turtles. Overall, the new protected zone will span 210,000 square miles in the ocean.

chagos archipelago, oceans, indian ocean, uk, us, green design
Of course, not everyone is happy about the U.K.’s move. Many Chagos Islands residents were forced out of their homes in the late 1960s and early 1970s to make room for a military base leased to the U.S. by the U.K. Now that the Archipelago is becoming a marine reserve, it looks increasingly unlikely that the residents will get to go back home.

Still, it’s hard not to be excited about the newly protected zone. As a result of the U.K.’s decision, commercial fishing will no longer be permitted around the islands, and an estimated 60 endangered species will be preserved.

+ Chagos Conservation Trust


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  1. uiteoi January 28, 2011 at 6:16 am

    @WMFlay, I can’t believe you justified this blatant denial of justice. Humans, for as bad as they sometimes behave, also have rights. These people are even denied the right to visit their ancestors graves.

    Also at least as many military personnel as there are Chagossians, live there. This hardly is removal of humans for the sake of animals. But this is definitely occupation and deportation.

    Removing humans for the sake of animals is certainly a good idea, but this must be done under a lawful and fair financial settlement agreed by the concerned people.

  2. WMFlay January 28, 2011 at 5:46 am

    At least they didn’t use it for testing nuclear bombs on as the Americans did after they had removed the natives from the Bikini Islands. Still, I would have thought in this day and age they could relocate the base but who’s to say that if the Chagossians were repatriated we wouldn’t be fighting them in a few years to stop them exploiting their beautiful island they are just humans not angels. It’s my belief that a lot of times the best way to help animals is to remove as many people out of the equation as possible and they we will be just fine. For the sake of the animals I’m glad it’s been protected.

  3. Jean December 16, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    The lie has now been exposed thanks to Wikileaks and The Guardian:

    The whole purpose of this reserve is indeed to deny Chagossians the right to return to their home or visit the graves of their ancestors.

  4. eyewatcher June 27, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Very few people have fought for the native’s cause because no one CARES and the FEW who would care, will NEVER know. This is the simple truth. These people were weak and had no defense so they were, unfortunately, EASY targets. Democracies are majorly flawed; but, I don’t see any other form of government being better. With that said, I am NOT defending America or Britian for this HUGE lie. This whole Marine Reserve expedition is some brainiac’s decision to COVER-UP and keep fishermen AWAY so the rest of the world will never know the deceit involved. Afterall, the lease b/w the two democracies is about to expire in 2016 and something has to be done to prevent just ANYONE or a native from coming to this island.

  5. uiteoi April 21, 2010 at 10:26 am

    There are so many false conspiracy theories out there. This one is a very real, yet very few people have fought for this cause. This means that our democracies are flawed and are especially not capable to defend the rights of other people.

  6. kmamalakis April 19, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I lived on Diego in 1990 and I asked many questions about the natives. Never once did I hear a story about them or even the existence of natives. This whole bit of history sickens me….and once again, it is about British imperialism. But, now, we see how the American gov’t conspires and the filthiness of it all. God Bless those poor natives who also had to live in squalor at the hands of other islanders who did NOT want them.

  7. Jean April 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    This is a very sad day for democracy, if the UK ever was a democracy.

    The whole point of this operation is not to protect the environment but to protect the largest offshore US military base and deny for ever the return of Chagossians deported illegally from their island in the late 60s.

    Chagossians are even denied the most basic right to visit their ancestors graves while US military personal is enjoying Maldives-like recreation on their homeland.

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