British Indian Ocean Territory: Fisheries

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 17th October 2018.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to ensure that fishing rights in the Chagos Archipelago remain available to Mauritius in so far as those rights relate to the territorial sea under the terms of the 18 March 2015 Arbitration Award between the Republic of Mauritius and the UK under Annex VII of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State

The UK is committed to implementing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Arbitral Tribunal Award. Since this ruling, senior officials from the UK and Mauritius have met on three occasions to discuss implementing the Award. In line with the Award, the UK will continue to work with Mauritius to agree the best way to meet our obligation to ensure fishing rights in the territorial sea remain available to Mauritius, so far as practicable. The Arbitral Award did not require the termination of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) but the UK will continue to approach discussions with an open mind about the best way to ensure proper conservation management of this unique marine environment.

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