Tsunami reef damage recovering

December 27, 2005

A year after the killer tsunami ravaged regions of Southeast Asia, scientists have documented the recovery of tsunami-affected coral reefs.

"We felt like it was a responsibility, we had to assist the government and the people of Thailand to predict how long it would take for the coral reefs to recover," said Greg Stone, Boston's New England Aquarium.

"There was a lot of misinformation that came out after the tsunami hit that the reefs were devastated, we were able to clarify that."

A team of eight international researchers, led by Stone, documented the recovery of tsunami-affected coral reefs last April, the Boston Herald reported Tuesday.

After 500 dives at 56 different sites, the researchers found 14 percent of the area's coral reefs were devastated and another 50 percent moderately damaged, while there is minimal damage to 30 percent of the region.

People depend on the coral ecosystem for food, industrial products and tourism.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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