The inshore fishery in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT, Chagos Archipelago) prior to the declaration of the BIOT MPA was targeted at demersal species, principally lutjanids (snappers), lethrinids (emperors) and serranids (groupers) occurring on the banks and around the five atolls of the Chagos Archipelago. Many of the species exploited are high value for export markets. Mauritian mothership dory ventures exploit the fishery, and operate in the Fisheries Conservation and Management Zone (FCMZ) strictly under licence between 1 April and 31 October. Mauritian vessels have fished in the zone for a number of years, and historical data has been reviewed in previous background papers to the Commission and reports to the BIOT Authorities. A logbook system has operated since 1991, and, since 1994, information on the fishery has been supplemented through an observer programme, initially jointly with the Mauritians. Analyses of fishery data occur annually and in the light of these, the BIOT (Chagos Archipelago) inshore fisheries management strategy and operational management plan are reviewed and updated as appropriate.
This contract covered the total management of the Inshore fisheries in the BIOT Fisheries Conservation and Management Zone, from administration of the licensing procedures, negotiation of license fees and legal frameworks, through to surveillance monitoring, stock assessment and resource management advice. Services provided by MRAG Ltd include, as required:
* management of administration and documentation;
* licensing and database;
* technical support;
* management of communications;
* information management;
* personnel management;
* procurement for observer programmes and surveillance platforms;
* surveillance and compliance control;
* fisheries observer and scientific collection programmes;
* scientific research for stock assessment and conservation; and,
* provision of advice for management.