MCS welcomes biggest marine reserve in the world

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 8 April 2010

MCS says it’s thrilled that the UK Government has announced the creation of the largest marine protected area in the world.

MCS says it’s thrilled that the UK Government has announced the creation of the largest marine protected area in the world. Chagos, a U.K. territory in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is to be a no-take marine reserve, making the 210,000 square miles (544,000 square kilometres), an area twice the size of the U.K, the biggest marine reserve on the planet. The area, a combination of tropical islands, unspoiled coral reefs and adjacent oceanic abyss, makes it comparable in global importance to the Great Barrier Reef or Galapagos Islands. Dr Jean-Luc Solandt of MCS said ” We’re delighted that the collaborative Chagos Environmental Network campaign has resulted in Chagos being designated as a Marine Protected Area. This move shows that the UK can be seen as a leading nation committed to conserving life in the world’s oceans and we applaud the UK Government for taking this brave step. We now need to protect special marine places much closer to home as an urgent priority, and we need to afford similar protection for sites throughout UK waters.” With UK and Scottish marine Bills now in place, the creation of a network of Marine Protected Areas in UK seas is now a step closer. The different Governments are at various stages of the planning process - but are all working towards setting up a network of marine protected areas by 2012. Dr Solandt says “MCS is campaigning for these sites to be chosen based on the best scientific advice - to ensure that both important habitats and rare and vulnerable species are properly protected.” You can vote for and against a number of propsed UK sites or suggest your own by visiting http://www.yourseasyourvoice.com/we-need-your-vote/ ” “

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