Indian Ocean

Common Clownfish

The Indian Ocean is the world’s third largest ocean, covering 20% of the earth’s water. The warmth of the Indian Ocean keeps phytoplankton production low in most of the ocean. As a result, there is not a tremendous amount of life in the Indian Ocean. Russia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all border this ocean and fish in its waters.

Coral reefs in the Indian Ocean are shrinking. This is due to factors such as increased amounts of sediment in coastal water, algae overgrowth and a surplus of sea urchins which damage the coral reefs with their sharp mouths. Over-fishing of predatory fish species is apparently causing the surplus of sea urchins.

The dugong, seals, turtles and whales are considered endangered species in the Indian Ocean.

In March 2010, Great Britain announced plans to make the
Chagos Islands and their surrounding waters in the Indian Ocean into the world’s largest marine reserve. Fishing, collecting of corals and hunting of sea turtles and other wildlife would be prohibited. Political controversy followed this announcement, since the exiled natives are primarily fishermen, but the British government approved the plan in April 2010.

List of fish native to the Indian Ocean: