World's Largest Marine Reserve


The UK government has created the world's largest marine reserve around the Chagos Islands. This is a major step towards conserving the 'planet ocean'. "The reserve would cover a 545,000-sq-km area around the Indian Ocean archipelago, regarded as one of the world's richest marine ecosystems." The reserve will include a "no-take" reserve where NOTHING leaves the reserve. All marine reserves in New Zealand are "no-take," however, this country is so small that it is not as big of an achievement as this massive reserve.

The islands were cleared of it's inhabitants to make room for a military base, however, they are now wanting to return and are worried that this new reserve will restrict their way of life. This is all sad and such, however, I think that it is more important that we protect the ocean. The ocean is 70% of the planet and holds (and used to hold) a massive abundance of life that is vital for the world's food chains. Everything is interconnected. In my brutal opinion, the islands should remain devoid of human activity for at least 15 years to give species a chance to recover. Establishing this marine reserve would "double the global coverage of the world's oceans under protection" said the UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

Currently less than 1% of coast and oceans are protected from fishing. New Zealand's two largest marine reserves are the Kermadec Islands (located way north of the mainland) and Auckland Islands (located far south of the mainland near Antarctica). The necessity of marine reserves is proved by evidence given from the fish. It is evident that fish that are protected grow much larger than fish that are not protected. This is simply because when all the big fish are taken there's only the little one's left and people then look at the comparison and think "oh, well this one is bigger than that one."

Ok, bottom line...there should be no debate over marine reserves. They are a win-win for everyone. Not all of them are "no-take" zones. There are different levels of marine reserves and they should all be welcomed with open arms. Happy fishing!

Resources and further reading:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8599125.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8598436.stm

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