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Some recommendations to save the coral reefs

Parrot-fish and other algae-eaters could save Caribbean coral reefs, a new report says. “Certain fish could save endangered coral reefs in the Caribbean.”

Science Recorder | Delila James

An Adaptation”

parrotfish

Parrot-fish

siamese-algae-eater-lgEditor: See the recommendations at the end! How will Montserrat deal with this,implementing regulations to address threats posed by tourism, coastal development, and fisheries” when those making the regulations are destroying, breaking the regulations, in the falsehood of development and economy?

Most of the critically endangered coral reefs in the Caribbean could vanish in the next two decades, according to a new study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The reefs already have declined by over 50 percent since 1970.

But now it appears that could be hope—in fish form.

Looking at more than 35,000 surveys of Caribbean reefs done between 1970 and 2012, a team of scientists from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network suggest that a particular type of marine life could prevent further coral reef losses.

Plecostomus

Algae eater fish

“We saw that reefs with no grazers ended up getting smothered by algae,” co-author Carl Gustaf Lundin, director of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Program, told BBC News. “And after a period of time they see a significant or even complete collapse of the reef area.”

According to the authors, parrot-fish populations and other grazers, such as sea urchins, that feed on algae make for healthy coral reefs. But these fish populations have declined substantially—mostly because of man-made pollution and overfishing.

If these types of fish are protected, however, their numbers could bounce back, the researchers say, giving the Caribbean coral reefs a fighting chance of recovery.

“The rate at which the Caribbean corals have been declining is truly alarming,” Lundin said in a statement. “But this study brings some very encouraging news: the fate of Caribbean corals is not beyond our control and there are some very concrete steps that we can take to help them recover.”

The researchers make four recommendations, cautioning that these steps must be strictly enforced if the coral reefs are to survive. These include adopting meaningful management strategies to restore parrot-fish populations, close monitoring of the Caribbean reefs, creating information networks so local officials can benefit from the experiences of others, and implementing regulations to address threats posed by tourism, coastal development, and fisheries.
 

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Parrot-fish and other algae-eaters could save Caribbean coral reefs, a new report says. “Certain fish could save endangered coral reefs in the Caribbean.”

Science Recorder | Delila James

An Adaptation”

parrotfish

Parrot-fish

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siamese-algae-eater-lgEditor: See the recommendations at the end! How will Montserrat deal with this,implementing regulations to address threats posed by tourism, coastal development, and fisheries” when those making the regulations are destroying, breaking the regulations, in the falsehood of development and economy?

Most of the critically endangered coral reefs in the Caribbean could vanish in the next two decades, according to a new study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The reefs already have declined by over 50 percent since 1970.

But now it appears that could be hope—in fish form.

Looking at more than 35,000 surveys of Caribbean reefs done between 1970 and 2012, a team of scientists from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network suggest that a particular type of marine life could prevent further coral reef losses.

Plecostomus

Algae eater fish

“We saw that reefs with no grazers ended up getting smothered by algae,” co-author Carl Gustaf Lundin, director of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Program, told BBC News. “And after a period of time they see a significant or even complete collapse of the reef area.”

According to the authors, parrot-fish populations and other grazers, such as sea urchins, that feed on algae make for healthy coral reefs. But these fish populations have declined substantially—mostly because of man-made pollution and overfishing.

If these types of fish are protected, however, their numbers could bounce back, the researchers say, giving the Caribbean coral reefs a fighting chance of recovery.

“The rate at which the Caribbean corals have been declining is truly alarming,” Lundin said in a statement. “But this study brings some very encouraging news: the fate of Caribbean corals is not beyond our control and there are some very concrete steps that we can take to help them recover.”

The researchers make four recommendations, cautioning that these steps must be strictly enforced if the coral reefs are to survive. These include adopting meaningful management strategies to restore parrot-fish populations, close monitoring of the Caribbean reefs, creating information networks so local officials can benefit from the experiences of others, and implementing regulations to address threats posed by tourism, coastal development, and fisheries.