Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 16:01 UK

Bryant defends creation of Chagos marine reserve

On 6 April 2010, Foreign Office Minister Chris Bryant answered an urgent question on the creation of the world's largest marine reserve around the Chagos Islands.

The reserve would cover a 545,000-sq-km area around the islands in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said the marine reserve will "double the global coverage of the world's oceans under protection".

However, islanders who were evicted to make way for a US air base on Diego Garcia in the 1960s and 70s have criticised the move, saying it will stop them from ever returning to the islands as fishing is their main livelihood.

In 2008, Law Lords ruled against letting Chagos Islanders return but they are now pursuing their case through the European courts.


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