Table 1 Timeline of exploitation, management, and conservation events with a likely effect on the focal reef shark species around the Chagos archipelago.
1927Beginning of industrial exploitation of Mauritian offshore banks including the Chagos archipelago.(40)
1948First handline scientific surveys are being carried out in several tropical banks
of the WIO including the Chagos archipelago.
1949Mauritian bank fishery expands to several banks in the central WIO.(39)
1952Longlining was first introduced in the Eastern Indian Ocean and soon spread across the entire ocean.(32)
1965The Chagos archipelago is detached from the British colony of Mauritius for
joint UK/U.S. defense purposes.
1967Indian Ocean Fishery Commission established.(62)
1971Construction of a military base started on Diego Garcia.(24)
1972The UK government relocated the last few Chagossians from the Chagos archipelago.(61)
1973The Taiwanese fleet expanded to target the whole WIO.(30)
1975First scuba diving surveys are being carried out around the Chagos archipelago.(23)
1977Mauritian bank fishery data became available from the Chagos archipelago.(39)
1982The Indo-Pacific Tuna Development and Management Programme (IPTP) was
established to manage the rapidly growing industry in the region.
Mid 1980sIncreasing demand and markets for shark result in growth in shark fishing in the region.(23)
1989Total tuna catch in the Indian Ocean exceeds that in the Atlantic Ocean for the first
time and has never fallen below it (Pacific tuna catch still exceeds both).
1991Establishment of a 200-mile FCMZ.
1996FCO begins to report illegal fishing vessels incurring in the BIOT.(28)
1997The IPTP is replaced by the IOTC whose remit no longer extends into the Western Pacific.(62)
2000Start of the fisheries observer program in BIOT.(58)
2005–2009Somali piracy results in fishing effort being displaced away from the Somali coast to
other areas of the Indian Ocean and an overall 25% reduction in fleet capacity
9 Nov 2009Public consultation on establishing a large marine reserve in BIOT opened.(9)
2009Maldives ban reef shark fishery within their atolls.(64)
2010Maldives completely ban shark fishery within their jurisdictional waters.(64)
2010The Maldives extend a national ban on shark hunting, banning shark fishing in all its
waters and all shark product exports. This decision was based on evidence that sharks
are more valuable as a tourist attraction than as a fishery resource.
10 Apr 2010A no-take BIOT marine reserve is established around the BIOT territorial waters, and all
fishing activities are banned within the 640,000-km2 boundary.
(9, 21)