Reefs and islands of the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean: why it is the world's largest no-take marine protected area

C Sheppard, M Ateweberhan, B Bowen, P Carr, C Chen, C Clubbe, M Craig, R Ebinghaus, J Eble, Nancy FitzSimmons, M Gaither, C-H Gan, M Gollock, N Guzman, N Graham, A Harris, R Jones, S Keshavmurthy, H Koldewey, C Lundin & 20 others Jeanne Mortimer, D Obura, M Pfeiffer, A. R. G. Price, S Purkis, P Raines, J Readman, B Riegl, A Rogers, M Schleyer, M Seaward, A Sheppard, J Tamelander, J Turner, S Visram, C Vogler, S Vogt, J Yang, S-Y Yang, C Yesson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    1. The Chagos Archipelago was designated a no-take marine protected area (MPA) in 2010; it covers 550 000km2, with more than 60 000km2 shallow limestone platform and reefs. This has doubled the global cover of such MPAs. 2. It contains 25â¿¿50% of the Indian Ocean reef area remaining in excellent condition, as well as the world's largest contiguous undamaged reef area. It has suffered from warming episodes, but after the most severe mortality event of 1998, coral cover was restored after 10 years. 3. Coral reef fishes are orders of magnitude more abundant than in other Indian Ocean locations, regardless of whether the latter are fished or protected. 4. Coral diseases are extremely low, and no invasive marine species are known. 5. Genetically, Chagos marine species are part of the Western Indian Ocean, and Chagos serves as a 'stepping-stone' in the ocean. 6. The no-take MPA extends to the 200nm boundary, and. includes 86 unfished seamounts and 243 deep knolls as well as encompassing important pelagic species. 7. On the larger islands, native plants, coconut crabs, bird and turtle colonies were largely destroyed in plantation times, but several smaller islands are in relatively undamaged state. 8. There are now 10 'important bird areas', coconut crab density is high and numbers of green and hawksbill turtles are recovering. 9. Diego Garcia atoll contains a military facility; this atoll contains one Ramsar site and several 'strict nature reserves'. Pollutant monitoring shows it to be the least polluted inhabited atoll in the world. Today, strict environmental regulations are enforced. 10. Shoreline erosion is significant in many places. Its economic cost in the inhabited part of Diego Garcia is very high, but all islands are vulnerable. 11. Chagos is ideally situated for several monitoring programmes, and use is increasingly being made of the archipelago for this purpose.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)232-261
    Number of pages30
    JournalAquatic Conservation
    Volume22
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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    atoll
    Indian Ocean
    archipelago
    protected area
    reefs
    conservation areas
    reef
    turtle
    corals
    crab
    coral
    Eretmochelys imbricata
    bird
    economic costs
    Chelonia mydas
    monitoring
    birds
    seamount
    nature reserve
    limestone

    Cite this

    Sheppard, C., Ateweberhan, M., Bowen, B., Carr, P., Chen, C., Clubbe, C., ... Yesson, C. (2012). Reefs and islands of the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean: why it is the world's largest no-take marine protected area. Aquatic Conservation, 22(2), 232-261. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.1248
    Sheppard, C ; Ateweberhan, M ; Bowen, B ; Carr, P ; Chen, C ; Clubbe, C ; Craig, M ; Ebinghaus, R ; Eble, J ; FitzSimmons, Nancy ; Gaither, M ; Gan, C-H ; Gollock, M ; Guzman, N ; Graham, N ; Harris, A ; Jones, R ; Keshavmurthy, S ; Koldewey, H ; Lundin, C ; Mortimer, Jeanne ; Obura, D ; Pfeiffer, M ; Price, A. R. G. ; Purkis, S ; Raines, P ; Readman, J ; Riegl, B ; Rogers, A ; Schleyer, M ; Seaward, M ; Sheppard, A ; Tamelander, J ; Turner, J ; Visram, S ; Vogler, C ; Vogt, S ; Yang, J ; Yang, S-Y ; Yesson, C. / Reefs and islands of the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean: why it is the world's largest no-take marine protected area. In: Aquatic Conservation. 2012 ; Vol. 22, No. 2. pp. 232-261.
    @article{0b8f8db42b134dcbb84e5de62bab6f4f,
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    abstract = "1. The Chagos Archipelago was designated a no-take marine protected area (MPA) in 2010; it covers 550 000km2, with more than 60 000km2 shallow limestone platform and reefs. This has doubled the global cover of such MPAs. 2. It contains 25{\^a}¿¿50{\%} of the Indian Ocean reef area remaining in excellent condition, as well as the world's largest contiguous undamaged reef area. It has suffered from warming episodes, but after the most severe mortality event of 1998, coral cover was restored after 10 years. 3. Coral reef fishes are orders of magnitude more abundant than in other Indian Ocean locations, regardless of whether the latter are fished or protected. 4. Coral diseases are extremely low, and no invasive marine species are known. 5. Genetically, Chagos marine species are part of the Western Indian Ocean, and Chagos serves as a 'stepping-stone' in the ocean. 6. The no-take MPA extends to the 200nm boundary, and. includes 86 unfished seamounts and 243 deep knolls as well as encompassing important pelagic species. 7. On the larger islands, native plants, coconut crabs, bird and turtle colonies were largely destroyed in plantation times, but several smaller islands are in relatively undamaged state. 8. There are now 10 'important bird areas', coconut crab density is high and numbers of green and hawksbill turtles are recovering. 9. Diego Garcia atoll contains a military facility; this atoll contains one Ramsar site and several 'strict nature reserves'. Pollutant monitoring shows it to be the least polluted inhabited atoll in the world. Today, strict environmental regulations are enforced. 10. Shoreline erosion is significant in many places. Its economic cost in the inhabited part of Diego Garcia is very high, but all islands are vulnerable. 11. Chagos is ideally situated for several monitoring programmes, and use is increasingly being made of the archipelago for this purpose.",
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    author = "C Sheppard and M Ateweberhan and B Bowen and P Carr and C Chen and C Clubbe and M Craig and R Ebinghaus and J Eble and Nancy FitzSimmons and M Gaither and C-H Gan and M Gollock and N Guzman and N Graham and A Harris and R Jones and S Keshavmurthy and H Koldewey and C Lundin and Jeanne Mortimer and D Obura and M Pfeiffer and Price, {A. R. G.} and S Purkis and P Raines and J Readman and B Riegl and A Rogers and M Schleyer and M Seaward and A Sheppard and J Tamelander and J Turner and S Visram and C Vogler and S Vogt and J Yang and S-Y Yang and C Yesson",
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    Sheppard, C, Ateweberhan, M, Bowen, B, Carr, P, Chen, C, Clubbe, C, Craig, M, Ebinghaus, R, Eble, J, FitzSimmons, N, Gaither, M, Gan, C-H, Gollock, M, Guzman, N, Graham, N, Harris, A, Jones, R, Keshavmurthy, S, Koldewey, H, Lundin, C, Mortimer, J, Obura, D, Pfeiffer, M, Price, ARG, Purkis, S, Raines, P, Readman, J, Riegl, B, Rogers, A, Schleyer, M, Seaward, M, Sheppard, A, Tamelander, J, Turner, J, Visram, S, Vogler, C, Vogt, S, Yang, J, Yang, S-Y & Yesson, C 2012, 'Reefs and islands of the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean: why it is the world's largest no-take marine protected area', Aquatic Conservation, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 232-261. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.1248

    Reefs and islands of the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean: why it is the world's largest no-take marine protected area. / Sheppard, C; Ateweberhan, M; Bowen, B; Carr, P; Chen, C; Clubbe, C; Craig, M; Ebinghaus, R; Eble, J; FitzSimmons, Nancy; Gaither, M; Gan, C-H; Gollock, M; Guzman, N; Graham, N; Harris, A; Jones, R; Keshavmurthy, S; Koldewey, H; Lundin, C; Mortimer, Jeanne; Obura, D; Pfeiffer, M; Price, A. R. G.; Purkis, S; Raines, P; Readman, J; Riegl, B; Rogers, A; Schleyer, M; Seaward, M; Sheppard, A; Tamelander, J; Turner, J; Visram, S; Vogler, C; Vogt, S; Yang, J; Yang, S-Y; Yesson, C.

    In: Aquatic Conservation, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2012, p. 232-261.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Reefs and islands of the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean: why it is the world's largest no-take marine protected area

    AU - Sheppard, C

    AU - Ateweberhan, M

    AU - Bowen, B

    AU - Carr, P

    AU - Chen, C

    AU - Clubbe, C

    AU - Craig, M

    AU - Ebinghaus, R

    AU - Eble, J

    AU - FitzSimmons, Nancy

    AU - Gaither, M

    AU - Gan, C-H

    AU - Gollock, M

    AU - Guzman, N

    AU - Graham, N

    AU - Harris, A

    AU - Jones, R

    AU - Keshavmurthy, S

    AU - Koldewey, H

    AU - Lundin, C

    AU - Mortimer, Jeanne

    AU - Obura, D

    AU - Pfeiffer, M

    AU - Price, A. R. G.

    AU - Purkis, S

    AU - Raines, P

    AU - Readman, J

    AU - Riegl, B

    AU - Rogers, A

    AU - Schleyer, M

    AU - Seaward, M

    AU - Sheppard, A

    AU - Tamelander, J

    AU - Turner, J

    AU - Visram, S

    AU - Vogler, C

    AU - Vogt, S

    AU - Yang, J

    AU - Yang, S-Y

    AU - Yesson, C

    PY - 2012

    Y1 - 2012

    N2 - 1. The Chagos Archipelago was designated a no-take marine protected area (MPA) in 2010; it covers 550 000km2, with more than 60 000km2 shallow limestone platform and reefs. This has doubled the global cover of such MPAs. 2. It contains 25â¿¿50% of the Indian Ocean reef area remaining in excellent condition, as well as the world's largest contiguous undamaged reef area. It has suffered from warming episodes, but after the most severe mortality event of 1998, coral cover was restored after 10 years. 3. Coral reef fishes are orders of magnitude more abundant than in other Indian Ocean locations, regardless of whether the latter are fished or protected. 4. Coral diseases are extremely low, and no invasive marine species are known. 5. Genetically, Chagos marine species are part of the Western Indian Ocean, and Chagos serves as a 'stepping-stone' in the ocean. 6. The no-take MPA extends to the 200nm boundary, and. includes 86 unfished seamounts and 243 deep knolls as well as encompassing important pelagic species. 7. On the larger islands, native plants, coconut crabs, bird and turtle colonies were largely destroyed in plantation times, but several smaller islands are in relatively undamaged state. 8. There are now 10 'important bird areas', coconut crab density is high and numbers of green and hawksbill turtles are recovering. 9. Diego Garcia atoll contains a military facility; this atoll contains one Ramsar site and several 'strict nature reserves'. Pollutant monitoring shows it to be the least polluted inhabited atoll in the world. Today, strict environmental regulations are enforced. 10. Shoreline erosion is significant in many places. Its economic cost in the inhabited part of Diego Garcia is very high, but all islands are vulnerable. 11. Chagos is ideally situated for several monitoring programmes, and use is increasingly being made of the archipelago for this purpose.

    AB - 1. The Chagos Archipelago was designated a no-take marine protected area (MPA) in 2010; it covers 550 000km2, with more than 60 000km2 shallow limestone platform and reefs. This has doubled the global cover of such MPAs. 2. It contains 25â¿¿50% of the Indian Ocean reef area remaining in excellent condition, as well as the world's largest contiguous undamaged reef area. It has suffered from warming episodes, but after the most severe mortality event of 1998, coral cover was restored after 10 years. 3. Coral reef fishes are orders of magnitude more abundant than in other Indian Ocean locations, regardless of whether the latter are fished or protected. 4. Coral diseases are extremely low, and no invasive marine species are known. 5. Genetically, Chagos marine species are part of the Western Indian Ocean, and Chagos serves as a 'stepping-stone' in the ocean. 6. The no-take MPA extends to the 200nm boundary, and. includes 86 unfished seamounts and 243 deep knolls as well as encompassing important pelagic species. 7. On the larger islands, native plants, coconut crabs, bird and turtle colonies were largely destroyed in plantation times, but several smaller islands are in relatively undamaged state. 8. There are now 10 'important bird areas', coconut crab density is high and numbers of green and hawksbill turtles are recovering. 9. Diego Garcia atoll contains a military facility; this atoll contains one Ramsar site and several 'strict nature reserves'. Pollutant monitoring shows it to be the least polluted inhabited atoll in the world. Today, strict environmental regulations are enforced. 10. Shoreline erosion is significant in many places. Its economic cost in the inhabited part of Diego Garcia is very high, but all islands are vulnerable. 11. Chagos is ideally situated for several monitoring programmes, and use is increasingly being made of the archipelago for this purpose.

    KW - Chagos

    KW - British Indian Ocean Territory

    KW - marine protected area

    KW - coral recovery

    KW - reef fishes

    KW - seamounts

    KW - reef disease

    KW - marine invasives

    KW - fisheries

    KW - island conservation

    U2 - 10.1002/aqc.1248

    DO - 10.1002/aqc.1248

    M3 - Article

    VL - 22

    SP - 232

    EP - 261

    JO - Aquatic Conservation (Print)

    JF - Aquatic Conservation (Print)

    SN - 1052-7613

    IS - 2

    ER -