The curious case of Blenheim Reef

Author name: 
David Brewster
Samuel Bashfield
The Interpreter

A coral reef in the middle of the Indian Ocean, owned by no one, is fast becoming a focus of international controversy.

A remote sandbank in the middle of the Indian Ocean, known as Blenheim Reef, is hitting the international news. The Mauritian government has sponsored an expedition to the reef to embarrass Britain in their long-running dispute over ownership of the Chagos Archipelago – which is home to the US military base at Diego Garcia.

But there’s a lot more to Blenheim Reef than meets the eye.

The National Security College (NSC), with the support of the Department of Defence, is leading a multi-year research project on Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy in the Indian Ocean. As a part of this project, this paper analyses Mauritius’ 2022 Chagos expedition. This paper first appeared in the Lowy Institute’s ‘The Interpreter’ on 14 February 2022.

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Image: FCO 31-3436

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