British Indian Ocean Territory

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 2nd July 2012.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department has spent on the maintenance of the marine protected area around the British Indian Ocean Territory in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The direct costs of maintaining the world's largest ‘No Take’ marine protected area (MPA) in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) were just over £2.1 million in the last year. This figure includes funding for the patrol vessel the Pacific Marlin, the fuel for the vessel, and the Fisheries Protection Officer. The BIOT Administration received £700,000, in the same period, from the Bertarelli Foundation, to contribute to the costs of safeguarding the MPA. Additional work on maintaining the MPA is also carried out by the BIOT Administration, regular operations by members of the armed forces in Diego Garcia and by visiting scientists. Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff and UK armed forces personnel do not keep detailed timesheets of work on different tasks and it is not possible to estimate these costs.

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