Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Coral Reef Collapse Spells Danger For Millions

Date:
April 9, 2007
Source:
University Of East Anglia
Summary:
Island communities that depend on coral reef fisheries could face a hungry future, according to new research.

To sustain current fishing levels, an area of reef 3.7 times greater than Australia's Great Barrier Reef (pictured) is needed.
Credit: Photo taken from the space shuttle Atlantis (Courtesy of NASA).

Island communities that depend on coral reef fisheries could face a hungry future, according to new research from the University of East Anglia, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas), and Simon Fraser University in Canada, published in Current Biology.

The report on island coral reef fisheries reveals that over half (55%) of the 49 island countries reviewed were being exploited unsustainably. Fish landings are currently 64% higher than can be sustained. In order to support this level of exploitation, an additional 75,000 km2 of coral reef would be needed – an area 3.7 times greater than Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. These figures will nearly triple by 2050, given current human population growth projections.

Katie Newton, of the University of East Anglia’s School of Biological Sciences, undertook a survey of the landing catches of 49 island nations across the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans.

“Millions of people are dependent on coral reef fisheries. We are facing a global crisis among communities which have limited alternative livelihoods or major food sources,” she said.

“Coral reef ecologists have tended to focus on specific issues rather than the big picture of the resilience of these fisheries when faced with extensive over-exploitation. Scientists need to work hand in hand with development agencies to address this pressing situation.”

Team leader for the study, Dr Nick Dulvy, of Cefas, says: “Unchecked levels of over-exploitation can only lead to long-term social and economic hardship. Management methods to reduce dependence on reef fisheries are essential to prevent the collapse of these valuable ecosystems.

“Apart from over-fishing, sustainability could also be influenced by global warming impacts: the potential abandonment of atolls due to rising sea levels and the loss of reef productivity when temperature-induced bleaching kills coral. So it is likely that alternative livelihoods will be essential for many of those currently dependent on coral reef fisheries.”

The authors calculated the ecological footprint of the islands, where 1 equals resource consumption balancing sustainable reef production. One-third of the countries had unsustainable footprints (>1), and nearly half of the island nations were categorised as over-exploited or collapsed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of East Anglia. "Coral Reef Collapse Spells Danger For Millions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070407175007.htm>.
University Of East Anglia. (2007, April 9). Coral Reef Collapse Spells Danger For Millions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070407175007.htm
University Of East Anglia. "Coral Reef Collapse Spells Danger For Millions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070407175007.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath

Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath

AP (July 25, 2014) Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe toured the Cherrystone Family Camping and RV Resort on the Chesapeake Bay today, a day after it was hit by a tornado. The storm claimed two lives and injured dozens of others. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins