Scientists call for coral reef regulations

August 4, 2006

Twenty marine scientists, including prominent Britons, are asking the world's governments to regulate the live fish trade to help protect coral reefs.

With the health of tropical coral reefs facing a serious threat from the burgeoning live fish trade in areas like Hong Kong, a team of scientists from the University of Cambridge have joined with other marine specialists to ask that governments regulate the harvesting of reef fish worldwide, said the journal Science.

The scientists claim reef fishermen employ destructive methods in gathering fish from coral reefs and also over-harvest the larger fish that help sustain the ecosystem around the reefs.

"Due to the high international demand for live fish, these roving bandits deplete coral reef stocks before local institutions have time to implement laws to regulate the poaching. The bandits take advantage of porous world trade policy and ineffective fisheries management to sell their plunder," the University of Cambridge's Dr Helen Scales said.

A 2004 Status of the Coral Reefs of the World report said 20 percent of coral reefs in the world have likely been removed permanently mainly due to human activities, with 50 percent facing either immediate or long-term collapse, Science said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: The (fish) eyes have it

Related Stories

The (fish) eyes have it

November 24, 2015

Understanding how fish "see" is helping a team of international scientists increase their knowledge of the Great Barrier Reef's biodiversity.

Hawaii to come up with management plan to help coral reefs

November 17, 2015

The state of Hawaii is gathering information from the scientific community and local stakeholders to create a comprehensive coral reef management plan, but officials said Monday they will not yet impose a requested moratorium ...

Distressed damsels cry for help

October 27, 2015

In a world first study researchers from Uppsala University, Sweden and James Cook University in Australia and have found that prey fish captured by predators release chemical cues that acts as a 'distress call", dramatically ...

Recommended for you

Revealing glacier flow with animated satellite images

November 26, 2015

Frank Paul, a glaciologist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, has created animations from satellite images of the Karakoram mountain range in Asia to show how its glaciers flow and change. The images of four different ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.