Big-ocean commitments in the UK Overseas Territories

With its 14 UK Overseas Territories, the UK is responsible for 6.8 million square kilometres of ocean – over twice the size of India, and nearly 30 times the size of the UK itself. 

British Territories are found in four of the world’s oceans, from the tropics to the poles, hosting the clearest water ever recorded, the largest coral atoll in the world and breeding grounds for numerous endangered species. But what is the UK doing to protect these waters and the diverse ecosystems they are home to, and how can these large and often remote areas be effectively protected? 

In 2010 the UK government designated the 640,000 square kilometre Chagos Marine Reserve in the British Indian Ocean Territory. And in March 2015, with the support and guidance of the Pitcairn government and environmental groups, the UK government declared its intention to create an even bigger marine reserve around the Pitcairn Islands, a UK Overseas Territory in the South Pacific.

With further opportunities in the Atlantic and the Southern Ocean, what steps will the UK take next to become the world leader in marine stewardship and how will these steps work in practice?


  • Fiona Llewellyn, Marine Project Manager, ZSL
    Presentation slides: PDF icon Llewellyn Great British Oceans slides (5.18 MB)

  • Bradley Soule, Senior Fisheries Analyst - Ocean Sustainability, Satellite Applications Catapult

  • Brendan Godley, Chair in Conservation Science, University of Exeter

  • Chaired by Matthew Gollock, Marine Programme Manager, ZSL

View agenda and talk abstracts:
PDF icon Agenda and Abstract - 10 May 2016 (367.97 KB)



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