Chagos is so important because of its size, location and condition. It contains the largest coral atoll on earth and over 23,000 square miles of shallow limestone reef. In addition, due to these same factors, it may provide a vital sanctuary for heavily fished pelagic species, such as tunas, and others, such as sharks, marlin and sailfish that were often caught as by-catch.
While much is known about the benefits of MPAs for reef-dwelling species, less is known about their effects on these pelagic and migratory species. That is why the Bertarelli Foundation is working with leading marine scientists from across the world to develop a research programme that will tell us more about how these animals use the MPA and, hopefully, much more besides. The Bertarelli Foundation shares the belief of marine scientists that it is only through learning more about this relatively unknown haven that we can hope to improve the way that it is managed and, in the process, take strides towards the creation of many more sanctuaries across the world.
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