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First-ever socioeconomic study on coral reefs points to challenges of coastal resource management
Date:12/10/2008

of communities indicates that coastal management efforts have not yet been able to effectively implement these site level recommendations in many parts of the world."

"The significance of this study can not be ignored," notes Kacky Andrews who directs the overall NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program. "While we strive to minimize human impacts to reefs, I think this study also points to the critical need to consider how those negative changes to the reefs impact humans as well. The goal here is sustainable use of resources. By listening to local communities we can better mitigate both human impacts on the reef as well as the effects of those negative changes on the community. We need both to happen if we are to be successful."

"The message is clear. Humanity needs nature," noted Leah Karrer, senior director of Conservation International's Marine Management Area Science Programwhich funded the study/ "This study, based on case studies worldwide, shows that people's livelihoods, food security and coastal economies depend on marine resources. As much as 90% of coastal families are dependent on fishing as a primary source of income and as much as 54% of gross domestic product is from tourism. It also shows that these same communities recognize this value and subsequently support well-managed conservation efforts - as much as 78% of communities support marine managed areas."

The findings varied in emphasis by region with the growth of tourism transforming community fishing dependency in the Caribbean and Central America, a finding which contrasts with heavy fishing dependencies in the Pacific, South and Southeast Asia and the Western Indian Ocean.

The report finds that the declining quality of coral reefs negatively impacts communities which are dependent on them for food, income and revenue from tourism. Recent coral reef conservation initiatives such as the Coral Reef Triangle, and the Micronesia, Caribbean and Indian Ocean
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Contact: Ben Sherman
ben.sheman@noaa.gov
301-713-3066
NOAA Headquarters
Source:Eurekalert

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