Key facts

Various specific islands were proposed as Marine Protected Areas by UNEP/IUCN and the World Bank from the early 1960’s until the late 1980's.
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At the request of the Mauritius Government in February 1997, the World Bank, together with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, financed and produced a Management Plan for Saint Brandon in 1998. The World Bank Management Plan recommended the creation of the ‘’Marine Protected Area of Saint Brandon’’ based on the Great Barrier Reef Model.
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In 2002, Saint Brandon was classified in 10th place globally by UNESCO for inclusion as a World Heritage Site.
The Mauritian Government’s (Ministry of Shipping, Rodrigues and Outer Islands) Blue Print on the Cargados Carajos Group of Islands (Saint Brandon) in 2004 recommended that government apply to the World Heritage Committee for the inclusion of Saint Brandon in the World Heritage List.
(See Page 18, Section 6 (d))
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Classified as an Important Bird Area in Africa by BirdLife International and designated a Marine Important Bird Area under the Nairobi Convention.
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Proposed as a nature reserve by UN Environment Programme.
Confirmed as a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.
In March 2016, the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation declared Saint Brandon an official MWF project to promote the conservation of the atoll at a national and international level.

Local Species

The islands are known for their rich, diverse fauna and are home to a wide range of plant and animal species many of which are found nowhere else in the world. The islands’ unique environment which includes mangroves, coral reefs and sandy beaches, provides a habitat for a variety of species from birds and reptiles to fish.

A recognised bird sanctuary, some of the species include the “Ye-ye”, the “Virgin”, the “Makoa” and the Roseate Tern.

A survey of seabirds and turtles at Saint Brandon was undertaken in 2010. It recorded the presence of an estimated 1.1 million seabirds of seven breeding species and counted 279 turtle tracks and nesting pits of green turtles. Hawksbill turtles were also present.

What we do

The Raphaël Fishing Company has a long-term record of protecting the ecology of Mauritius, the 13 islands of Saint Brandon and the surrounding areas. The team works closely with international and Mauritian environmental organisations and scientists to protect the islands’ ecology but also to make them more accessible to all on a long-term, sustainable basis.

In the 1960’s, a turtle reserve was established at Ile du Nord and landing on this island was permitted only in the Summer under The Raphaël Fishing Company’s regulations.

The Raphaël Fishing Company regularly encourages, consults, subsidises and works with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and other international NGOs in protecting and promoting the unique ecology of Saint Brandon.

In April 2016, The Raphaël Fishing Company funded and organised a seven-day fact-finding mission by some of the world’s leading island ecological experts. Three highly acclaimed international experts Professor Henk Bauwman (Ecotoxicology, Environmental Pollution, Bird Ecology); Professor Tony Martin (world’s foremost expert on marine mammals) and Dr. Nick Cole (herpetologist; MWF Islands Restoration Manager) inspected the islands to raise awareness about the need to further protect them and to investigate, for the longer term, the effects of plastic and heavy metal pollution in the Indian Ocean.

The Raphaël Fishing Company’s team and its NGO partners, on an ongoing basis, control invasive foreign species and monitor not only plastic pollution (with regular clean-ups being organised) but also the presence of heavy metals.


Protecting our natural biodiversity and participating in conservation efforts is now possible with some of the projects that The Raphaël Fishing Company’s team has established. There are many ways you can help protect this unique ecological ecosystem so that our future generations can enjoy the beauty and vibrant natural environment of the islands.

Join our online community to get the latest conservation updates delivered directly to your inbox
Make a donation to help control and eradicate non-native invasive species that threaten Saint Brandon’s natural ecosystems, and contribute by contacting us at
Contribute to help us to mitigate the devastating effects of shipwrecks which damage and pollute the delicate balance of nature by contacting us at