What is happening to the most remote coral reefs on the planet?

What is happening to the most remote coral reefs on the planet?

IMAGE: The coral reefs of the Chagos Archipelago had more fish per square meter than reefs in all of the countries surveyed on the Global Reef Expedition – the world’s largest coral reef survey and mapping expedition more

Credit: © Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation / Ken Marks

In the middle of the Indian Ocean are some of the last wild coral reefs on the planet. The Chagos Archipelago, a collection of atolls, the largest of which on Earth – the Great Chagos Bank – is home to reefs that have not been disturbed by humans for the past 50 years. Some estimates indicate that the Chagos Archipelago may contain more over half of the remaining healthy coral reefs throughout the Indian Ocean. These reefs are protected both by their remote location and in one of the world’s largest no-take marine reserves – the British Indian Ocean Territory Marine Protected Area (BIOT).

In 2015, scientists from the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) came to the Chagos Archipelago to assess the condition of the reefs. During two months at sea, an international team of scientists carried out thousands of surveys on benthic and reef fish …

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