[Coral-List] The Chagos MPA - what went wrong?

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Tue Oct 21 03:25:55 EDT 2014


    When we write journal articles, we're required to define our
abbreviations and acronyms.  Sometimes people post messages with an acronym
in it without defining the acronym, and I often reply to them offline
asking if they would mind defining it for coral-list.  Whatever the
acronym, over 8000 people around the world in many different countries,
with many different first languages, and many different specialties receive
these messages, and I just think it is courteous of writers to define their
acronyms and abbreviations.  I forget to do it myself sometimes.  You have
several, some of which I and others may not be familiar with.  Could you
please define for us what the following are:


Thanks!  Cheers,  Doug

On Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 11:14 AM, Magnus Johnson <m.johnson at hull.ac.uk>

> Richard has answered the question re who said what in court re the
> relationship between MPA and Chagossian right to return but I must say that
> if one just steps back and ignores the clever dicing with words and
> posturing, its pretty obvious what is going on, isn't it?
> Really, people should read the paper Richard led on.  If you contact him
> directly, I'm sure he will be happy to share it.  The volume comes out in
> December and will have examples of good, bad and ugly LMPAs.
> Re the rest . . . . (if you can be bothered reading!)
> 'From Charles Sheppard, Chair, Chagos Conservation Trust
> Designating the Chagos Archipelago a no-take marine protected area (MPA)
> was based on the best available science.
> The precautionary principle<
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle> was rightly applied
> to ensure that lengthy deliberation did not allow further destruction of
> the world's most pristine coral reefs.
> ##########
> Fisheries scientists would argue that for the pelagic realm the best
> protection is to have  a well managed, closely controlled fishery where the
> licensed fishermen have a vested interest in ensuring that IUU fishers stay
> out of the area.  According to MRAG “making the whole of the BIOT FCMZ a
> fully no take area will provide no conservation benefit to tuna” (MRAG Ltd,
> 2010).
> For the reef areas I would agree they require protection.  So I guess
> building a dirty great tarmac runway on Diego Garcia, having uncontrolled
> recreational fishing by service personnel, driving no longer required
> military vehicles into the ocean and dredging up coral for construction
> should not happen?  Would that all fall under the precautionary principle?
> Are these appropriate activities for a RAMSAR site?
> I don’t actually have a problem with the military base - I guess its a
> necessary evil, but to ignore its presence, not challenge their behaviour
> and to avoid referring to the environmental damage caused by the military
> presence is bizarre.
> ---------------------------
> Policies should, of course, be reviewed as further scientific evidence
> comes to light. In the case of Chagos, new research continues to
> corroborate the decision to protect this unique ecosystem.
> It is misleading to claim that the no-take policy is another barrier
> preventing the displaced Chagossians from returning to the islands. The MPA
> declaration states that the level of protection would be reviewed – in full
> consultation with the Chagossians – in the case of resettlement.
> #####
> This statement makes no sense.  It suggests that there is a link between
> resettlement and protection, i.e. conditions could be imposed, but that
> this isn't a barrier to resettlement! Claiming to be "just a simple
> Scientist" as Charles did at a Chagos bash in the Linnean Soc a few years
> does not absolve one from the need to defend human rights.  In fact as a
> pre-eminent scientist with unfettered access to the Chagos for research he
> has a responsibility.  If human presence is an issue then why are the ZSL
> and Charles not challenging the presence or at least behaviour of the 3000
> US military personnel and associated (non-chagossian) civilians on Diego
> Garcia?  Or the rich yachties that periodically visit some of the islands
> on the archipelago?
> --------------------
> A mere 2.8 per cent of the world's ocean has any protection, with only 0.6
> per cent fully protected, well below international commitments.
> #####
> This is just rubbish.  Most territorial oceans of the world have _some_
> protection - much of it more effective than MPAs or paper parks.  However
> we do need to do more.  MPAs are often the equivalent of protecting the
> inflorescence of a flowering plant while ignoring pollution and disturbance
> around the roots.  They do nothing to prevent pollution, plastics, POPs,
> dredging (e.g. recently in Australia), IUU and we have little proof that
> they do anything to increase numbers of wide-ranging pelagic fish.   We
> need to be building on measures that, while they don't grab headlines and
> let politicians and unaccountable BINGOS like PEW bray about their
> "success", actually do some good, change behaviours, protect habitats and
> account for humanity.
> --------------------
> With the cleanest sea water in the world and a staggering diversity of
> marine life, the Chagos Archipelago is a site of resilience within the
> heavily overexploited west Indian Ocean.
> #####
> Recently it has been acknowledged that Navy ships have been discharging
> into the lagoon in Diego Garcia.  Hardly pristine.  There have been
> innumerable spills of fuel from the airport.  There are a load of Bioslurp
> wells specifically in place to recover the ~1.3 MILLION of gallons of fuel
> that have been spilled and made their way into the water table (
> http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a424878.pdf)
> ----------------------------
> It is an underwater sanctuary that deserves to be afforded the ultimate
> protection.
> Warwick, UK'
> ######
> It does and it is evidently not getting it, As Peter Sand reports:
> There are over 200 scientific papers cited in the bibliography of the
> Chagos Conservation Trust and used to justify the MPA. Not a single one
> addresses the impacts of ANY of the following:
> * the massive jet fuel spills (totalling more than 1.3 million gallons) at
> the US military base on Diego Garcia in 1984, 1991, 1997 and 1998
> * the 31% observed increase in alien plant species unintentionally
> introduced in Diego Garcia since 1988 as a result of US military
> construction and naval operations, including Leucaena leucocephala (listed
> by IUCN among the top 100 worst invasive species of the world)
> * radiation leakages in the Diego Garcia lagoon from US nuclear-powered
> naval vessels and submarines regularly transiting or permanently stationed
> there since 1979, and from the transit of 550 tonnes of low-grade uranium
> in the lagoon in 2008
> * harm to marine mammals caused by the US Navy's continued low-to-medium
> frequency sonar used for submarine monitoring and long-distance underwater
> sound propagation programmes at its Diego Garcia Ocean Surveillance Station
> since 1974 (the Chagos Archipelago is part of the International Whaling
> Commission's Indian Ocean Sanctuary)
> #############################
> So what is the answer??
> 1) We should start to base decisions about Chagos management on good
> science.
> 2) We should recognise the fact that the military base on Diego Garcia is
> both a curse and a blessing.  It cannot help but have an impact, but also
> it could be a route to supporting a sustainable Chagossian population and
> appropriate conservation measures.
> 3) The best protection for the pelagic stocks is a carefully controlled
> and monitored fishery - this comes from a highly respected fisheries
> management organisation.
> 4) Resettlement isn't an "option", it is a fundamental human right.  If
> there were no people living on Diego Garcia, no military base, then I
> could  perhaps understand the reluctance to allow Chagossians to return
> (even if I didn't agree) but to ban these folks when there are other people
> living on their homeland is cruel/barbaric.  I fail to see how anyone can
> espouse such a noble cause as protecting the planet and yet be quiet with
> regard to abhorrent treatment of fellow human beings.
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Douglas Fenner
Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

phone 1 684 622-7084

"belief in climate change is optional, participation is not."

belief in evolution is optional, use of antibiotics that bacteria have not
evolved resistance to is recommended.

website:  http://independent.academia.edu/DouglasFenner

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