Fishing presents biggest threat to reefs

| 24/02/2011

(BBC): Three-quarters of the world’s coral reefs are at risk due to overfishing, pollution, climate change and other factors, says a major new assessment. Reefs at Risk Revisited collates the work of hundreds of scientists and took three years to compile. The biggest threat is exploitative fishing, the researchers say, though most reefs will be feeling the impact of climate change within 20 years. But, they say, there are measures that can be taken to protect at least some. The report is compiled by a group of more than 20 research and conservation organisations, led by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington DC.

"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).

"Local and global threats, including climate change, are already having significant impacts on coral reefs, putting the future of these beautiful and valuable ecosystems at risk."
The report revisits some of the territory explored in the original Reefs at Risk project, published in 1998, but in much greater detail.

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