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.

MRAG's current services provide the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) Administration with:

(i) Technical and scientific advice and support in relation to management of the Marine Protected Area (MPA);
(ii) Senior Fisheries Protection Officers to oversee the monitoring and surveillance of the MPA from the BIOT Patrol Vessel and to implement an enforcement strategy to tackle vessels suspected of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing;
(iii) Advice on BIOT’s requirements and responsibilities under the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and attendance at some IOTC meetings.

Previous services provided prior to the MPA delcaration 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;
  • 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.


Name of Client

BIOT Administration, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Project Dates



British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT)