The economic and socio-political interactions between countries can have major impacts on transboundary conservation decisions and outcomes. Here, we examined for 14 Western Indian Ocean (WIO) continental and island nations the extent of their marine coral reef species, fisheries and marine protected areas (MPAs), in the context of their geopolitical and socio-economic connections. We also examined the role of external countries and organisations in collaboration within the region.
Broad-scale overharvesting of fish is one of the major drivers of marine biodiversity loss and poverty, particularly in countries with high dependence on coral reefs. Given the heterogeneity of fishing effort and management success, and the scarcity of management resources, it is necessary to identify broad-scale locations for promoting successful fisheries management and conservation.