Group: Super Administrators
Joined: Jan. 2004
||Posted: Jan. 10 2008,07:38
I have found the enemy - and it is us! Peanuts
Extensive and continuing studies confirm that the number of people living in close proximity to reefs is the primary factor in their destruction.
|“The continuing degradation of coral reefs may be soon beyond repair, if threats are not identified and rapidly controlled,” Mora said. “This new study moves from the traditional localized study of threats to a region-wide scale, while simultaneously analyzing contrasting socioeconomic and environmental variables,” he added.|
The study monitored coral reefs, including corals, fishes and macroalgae, in 322 sites across 13 countries throughout the Caribbean. The study was complemented with a comprehensive set of socioeconomic databases on human population density, coastal development, agricultural land use and environmental and ecological databases, which included temperature, hurricanes, productivity, coral diseases and richness of corals. The data were analyzed with robust statistical approaches to reveal the causes of coral reef degradation in that region.
The study showed clearly that the number of people living in close proximity to coral reefs is the main driver of the mortality of corals, loss of fish biomass and increases in macroalgae abundance. A comparative analysis of different human impacts revealed that coastal development, which increases the amount of sewage and fishing pressure (by facilitating the storage and export of fishing products) was mainly responsible for the mortality of corals and loss of fish biomass. Additionally, the area of cultivated land (a likely surrogate for agrochemical discharges to coral reefs) was the main driver of increases in macroalgae. Coral mortality was further accelerated by warmer temperatures.
Short of long overdue population planning we are screwed. And MPA's (marine protected areas) are mere bandaids, don't and won't solve the problem.
What can you do? Think carefully about your vote...
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