Science from this programme is helping the UK government in their role as managers of BIOT’s Marine Protected Area.
For instance, scientists have already used their research to make a case for the removal of the invasive Black Rat (Rattus rattus) in some of the archipelago’s northern islands. Additionally, they increased our knowledge of key habitats such as seagrass meadows and coral reefs.
The BIOT MPA is now also a test-bed for new technologies and methodologies that will assist in the surveillance of the MPA and the detection of IUU fishing. The absence of direct human impact due to the remoteness of the MPA allows regular monitoring of the effects of climate change and provides data sets that help in the long-term monitoring of the Territory’s ocean health.
Scientists from the programme are also engaged in the UK government’s Blue Belt project which has the ambitious aim of protecting over 4,000,000 km2 of ocean across the UK’s Overseas Territories.