Navigation Links
Coral reefs will be permanently damaged without urgent action
Date:10/31/2007

Coral reefs could be damaged beyond repair, unless we change the way we manage the marine environment. New research by the Universities of Exeter and California Davis, published today (1 November 2007) in Nature, shows how damaged Caribbean reefs will continue to decline over the next 50 years.

Coral reefs conjure up images of rich, colourful ecosystems yet an increasing number of reefs are becoming unhealthy and overrun by seaweed. The research team wanted to test whether reefs that are overgrown with algae could return to good health if the original causes of the problem, such as fishing or pollution, were addressed. This could mean, for example, reducing fishing or introducing better sewage management. The study revealed that the answer is no because coral reefs can become permanently unhealthy.

In the 1980s, reefs in the Caribbean were hit by the devastating impact of the near-extinction of the herbivorous urchin, Diadema antillarum, with devastating results. Along with parrotfish, this grazing urchin kept seaweed levels down, creating space for coral to grow. Parrotfish are now the sole grazers of seaweed on many Caribbean reefs, but fishing has limited their numbers. With insufficient parrotfish grazing, corals are unable to recover after major disturbances like hurricanes and become much less healthy as a result. The team discovered this result by creating and testing a computer model that simulates the effects of many factors on the health of Caribbean reefs.

Professor Peter Mumby of the University of Exeter, lead author on the paper said: The future of some Caribbean reefs is in the balance and if we carry on the way we are then reefs will change forever. This will be devastating for the Caribbeans rich marine environment, which is home to a huge range of species as well as being central to the livelihood of millions of people.

The paper argues that in order to secure a future for coral reefs, particularly in light of the predicted impact of climate change, parrotfish need to be protected. Parrotfish are frequently caught in fish traps that are widely used in the Caribbean, with many ending up on restaurant diners plates.

Professor Peter Mumby continued: The good news is that we can take practical steps to protect parrotfish and help reef regeneration. We recommend a change in policy to establish controls over the use of fish traps, which parrotfish are particularly vulnerable to. We also call on anyone who visits the Caribbean and sees parrotfish on a restaurant menu to voice their concern to the management.


'/>"/>

Contact: Esther White
pressoffice@exeter.ac.uk
01-392-262-307
University of Exeter  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New Species of Coral Discovered Off Southern California
2. Tsunami-damaged coral reefs should be left to recover naturally, say scientists
3. Researchers appeal for new regulations to save coral reefs from live fish trade
4. Hidden sponges determine coral reefs nutrient cycle
5. Marine conservation organizations team up to conduct Indonesia coral reefs assessment
6. Health of coral reefs detected from orbit
7. Scientists look to the Bahamas as a model for coral reef conservation
8. Tiny polyps gorge themselves to survive coral bleaching
9. Too much sugar not good for coral reefs
10. Sea corals trick helps scientists tag proteins
11. How marine reserves are giving coral reefs a helping hand
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Coral reefs will be permanently damaged without urgent action
(Date:3/14/2016)... , March 14, 2016 NXTD ... growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new ... starting the week of March 21 st .  The commercials ... including its popular Squawk on the Street show. --> ... on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... March 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) - ... Picture is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - ... be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will ... at CeBIT in Hanover next week.   ... will be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... PUNE, India , March 10, 2016 ... to a new market research report "Identity and Access ... SSO, & Audit, Compliance, and Governance), by Organization Size, ... Forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, The market is ... to USD 12.78 Billion by 2020, at a Compound ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... Ohio (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... Trends That Will Drive Precision Farming in 2017 and Beyond. The paper outlines ... practitioners in the precision ag industry. , “We’ve witnessed a lot of highs ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 Oxitec CEO ... th at 10:15 a.m. ET before the United States ... genetically engineered mosquitos can play in controlling the spread of ... the Zika virus.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ... mosquito with a self-limiting gene. Trials in Brazil ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... management solutions and services based in Aurora, Ohio, has broken ground on a ... in the Research Triangle Park area, this new location solidifies a commitment to ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... ... May 22, 2016 , ... Doctors in Rome say ... the asbestos cancer, malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the ... University of Rome’s Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine evaluated more than 150 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: