The researchers pointed out that there were still healthy populations of certain species and still time to reverse the damage.
The good news is that the reef fish assemblages are still in very good shape said Tasrif Kartawijaya from WCS-IP. We saw Napoleon wrasse and bumphead parrot fish at almost every site. So these reefs have the capacity to recover if we can address the current threats.
The Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) announced by six regional governments at the Bali Climate Change Conference recently offers hope for the reefs in the region, the researchers say. However, there are few details of how it will work and no mention of the fundamental role of research in the conservation program.
We are disappointed research is yet to be fully considered in the CTI. The success of large marine parks, like the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, is largely due to the primary role of science plays in understanding whats going on, so managers can make good decisions, said Dr Baird.
It isnt enough just to document the diversity of the region. Large scale research is required to understand the Coral Triangle ecosystems and work out how best to respond to threats such as poor water quality and overexploitation, Dr Campbell added.
|Contact: Stephen Sautner|
Wildlife Conservation Society