Wilderness areas have been widely discussed in the terrestrial conservation literature, whereas the concept of marine wilderness has received scant attention. The recent move to protect very large areas of the ocean and thus preserve some of the final marine wilderness areas is a bold policy initiative. However, some important questions have remained unanswered, such as whether marine wilderness areas support a different composition and abundance of species than do the smaller marine no-take areas (NTAs) that are steadily dotting our coastlines. We present a case study from the world's largest wilderness coral reef NTA, the Chagos Archipelago, and demonstrate that fish biomass is six times greater than and composition substantially different from even the oldest NTAs in eight other Indian Ocean countries' waters. Clearly, marine wilderness does promote a unique ecological community, which smaller NTAs fail to attain, and formal legislation is therefore crucial to protect these last marine wilderness areas.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 63 • No. 5