Study: Only ‘A-list’ of coral reefs found to sustain ecosystems, livelihoods

Mongabay discusses Only ‘A-list’ of coral reefs found to sustain ecosystems, livelihoods.

  • Most of tropical reefs are no longer able to both sustain coral reef ecosystems and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them, as human pressure and the impacts of climate change increase.
  • That was the finding of a new study that looked at 1,800 coral reef sites spread throughout the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic ocean basins.
  • Only 5% of those sites have plentiful fish stocks, high fish biodiversity and grazing, and well-preserved ecosystem functions — which are key marine ecological metrics.
  • The study authors say location and the expected targets set by authorities implementing reef conservation are key to helping other sites achieve these multiple goals.

Most of the tropical reef sites around the world are no longer able to simultaneously sustain coral reef ecosystems and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them, as human pressure and impacts of climate change increase, a new study shows.

Only 5% of 1,800 tropical reef sites across 41 countries, states and territories on Earth had plentiful fish stocks, high fish biodiversity and grazing, and well-preserved ecosystem functions — which are key marine ecological metrics, according to the authors of the paper published April 17 in Science magazine.

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