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

Richard Dunne RichardPDunne at aol.com
Fri Sep 26 02:34:36 EDT 2014

*The Chagos Marine Protected Area - what went wrong?*_

Politics__and the Official Advice_
A piece by Fred Pearce in today's New Scientist: '/Chagos marine reserve 
polluted by politics/' 
gives an interesting account of what FCO officials were thinking and 
advising at the time of the public consultation and creation of the 
Chagos MPA, based on confidential internal memoranda.

_Good & Bad science_
New Scientist also refers to a paper 'in press' in Advances in Marine 
Biology entitled '/The creation of the Chagos Marine Protected Area: a 
fisheries perspective/' which is an exhaustive overview of the fisheries 
of the Chagos. It demonstrates, amongst other things, that whilst expert 
advice provided by fisheries advisers, MRAG, in private to the British 
Indian Ocean Territory Administration was sound, scientific 'evidence' 
from the Chagos Environment Network (CEN) alliance (Pew/Chagos 
Conservation Trust/Zoological Society of London) was poorly researched 
and grossly overstated any negative impact of the commercial tuna 
fishery in the Chagos. Bad science, intense advocacy and alarmist claims 
by the CEN, and a rushed public consultation led to a MPA which is 
unlikely to confer any benefit on Indian Ocean tuna or their 
conservation, and no significant additional protection for sharks, 
marine turtles, or cetaceans.  For further details see: 

Richard P Dunne

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