A 200 nautical mile Fisheries Conservation and Management Zone (FCMZ) was declared around the Chagos Archipelago, British Indian Ocean Territory on 1 October 1991 and a fisheries regime covering all BIOT fishing waters was established on the same day. In April 2010, an MPA (Marine protected area) was created in the BIOT that covers the territorial waters of the Chagos Archipelago, except for the area immediately surrounding Diego Garcia. .
The work undertaken by MRAG for the BIOT Administration comprises general and specific advice on the status and management of tuna and tuna like species. This enabled the BIOT Authorities to properly manage the fisheries within its jurisdiction. The tasks undertaken priot to the MPA declaration by MRAG related to three areas: Daily operations and negotiation of licence agreements; Monitoring Control and Surveillance; and, Science and Management. Services
Specific services provided by MRAG Ltd included:
- Management of administration and documentation, and provision of technical support and personnel management;
- Negotiation of licenses, administering the licensing system, and management of communications;
- Information management i.e. Management of commercial, observer and research data, including timely submission of data to Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and the maintenance of the BIOT database.
- Organisation of and logistic support and procurement for observer programmes and surveillance platforms;
- Surveillance and compliance control
- Provision of scientific advice on key exploited species and by-catch species, based on strategic research through observer programmes, and participation in the scientific bodies of the IOTC;
- Fisheries observer and scientific collection programmes to underpin management;
- Technical advice on the implementation of BIOT fishery management regimes including the integration of the requirements of BIOT with those of regional inter-governmental bodies such as IOTC, attendance at Commission meetings, and provision of legal advice on the implementation of the fisheries regime.
Subsequent to the MPA delcaration many of these tasks have continued and many have been replaced by alternative tasks related to the MPA management.
- Institutional management and organisation
- Resources Surveys
- Environmental Studies
- Technical Assistance and Advisory Services
- Information systems and databases
- Technology Consultancy
- Management Advisory Services
- Information systems
- Operations and maintenance
- Water resources appraisal/use
- Fisheries Resources