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Rise or fall of reef fish driven by both economy and ecology
Date:2/9/2009

ve," Cinner said. "For communities already in a poverty trap, governments and donors need to help them get out and couple this development with good governance and strong institutions."

Cinner noted that the current economic crisis can actually offer a "window of opportunity" for western governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and donors to restructure aid and conservation efforts to better tackle root causes of reef decline. While some coral reef conservation projects already do try to consider socioeconomic issues and provide people with alternatives to fishing, the new findings suggest that those efforts likely won't be enough, he added. "Reef fisheries don't seem to get better until very substantial improvements in human welfare have been made," he said.

The bottom line, he says: "While there are certainly some real challenges facing reefs, the path to their destruction is not inevitable. They can be sustained with the right combination of approaches, which includes promoting strategies such as fishery closures while at the same time tackling poverty as a root cause of the degradation of reefs and their fish stocks."


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Contact: Cathleen Genova
cgenova@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

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