Only One Sixth of Caribbean Corals Remain, but Damage can be Reversed

By Tibi Puiu, ZMEScience – It’s estimated that only a sixth of the original coral reef that covered the Caribbean waters is still alive today, according to a recent report released by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). If no major interference occurs, most of the coral in the Caribbean might disappear in the next 20 years. There are some good news, too. The damage done so far can be reversed, if certain steps are made. Titled “Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012″ (full PDF), the report is the result of three years worth of painstaking work that involved over 90 experts who studied more than 35,000 surveys conducted at 90 Caribbean locations since 1970, including studies of corals, seaweeds, grazing sea urchins and fish. Numerous insights that were missed until now...

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