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Reefs at Risk- New Study Projects Future of Coral Reefs
By Joseph Tepper, February 24, 2011 @ 09:00 AM (EST)
Source: BBC News

According to a new report collated by the Reefs at Risk Revisited group, the health of approximately three-quarters of the world's coral reefs is at risk from overfishing, pollution, and climate change.

The report, from the work of hundreds of scientists and three years of work, reveals the greatest threat of all to coral reefs is “exploitative fishing,” while most reefs will be facing the pressure from climate change much sooner. Reefs at Risk Revisited hopes their work is not only a peak into a grimmer ecological future, but a way to appeal to legislators. 

"This report serves as a wake-up call for policymakers, business leaders, ocean managers, and others about the urgent need for greater protection for coral reefs," said Jane Lubchenco, head of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA).

The report is a follow-up to the original Reefs at Risk project, which was published in 1998. Some of the scarier statistics of the latest research includes projections for over half of the world's coral reefs experiencing 'bleaching' by 2030, a projection that increases to 95% by 2050.

“If we don't learn from these successes then I think that in 50 years' time, most reefs will be gone - just banks of eroding limestone, overgrown with algae and grazed by a small variety of small fish,” said Mark Spalding, senior marine scientist with The Nature Conservancy. “The report is full of solutions - real world examples where people have succeeded to turn things around.”

More information on the Reefs at Risk Revisited report can be found here





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