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Starfish strike at coral kingdom
Date:1/16/2008

an environment, and effective management of the marine resources must seek to understand and address the causes of conflict among communities, says Dr Stuart Campbell, Program Leader for the WCS-IP.

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 Katawijaya from WCS-IP. We saw napoleon wrasse and bump head 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 in particular, there is, as yet, no mention of the fundamental role of research in the conservation programme.

We are disappointed that a comprehensive research programme is yet to be outlined in the CTI. The success of large marine parks, like the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, is due to the primary role of science in understanding whats going on, so managers can make good decisions, said Baird.

It isnt enough just to document the diversity of the region. Large scale research is required to understand the Coral Triangle ecosystems and to decide how best to respond to threats such as poor water quality and overexploitation, Campbell added.


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Contact: Andrew Baird
andrew.baird@jcu.edu.au
61-040-028-9770
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Source:Eurekalert

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