Better Community Management
Scientists are finding that a sound fishery management system might help slow down the imminent death of the Earth’s coral reefs.
A new study identifies 15 places in the Pacific and Indian oceans where fish populations in coral reefs are doing better than ecological models predict they should be. However,Global warming and human human interference are still causing massive reef “bleaching” — when coral organisms stop feeding themselves and turn ghostly white. One example of coral bleaching is the one that’s happening at the Great Barrier Reef, which could be dubbed as “the worst mass bleaching event in its history.”
In these 15 “bright spots” of coral, scientist say that the key difference lies on how humans managed their contact with reefs. It was found that communities near bright spots include local people who fish on the reef in discussions about how to manage it. They also have guidelines in place on how to manage the reef, often with local fishermen acting as the enforcers of the policy. It seemed that this community-driven way of preventing overfishing is more effective than top-down policies enforced by people from outside the community.
Carbon Footprint Reduction
Joshua Cinner, an ecologist at the University of Queensland in Australia who led the study, said that quite often the coral reef crisis is a crisis of governance.
That being said, it will take so much more than a well-managed fishery system to save all coral reefs in the world. The real solution would still require a huge reduction of carbon levels in the atmosphere as ocean acidity and warming are caused by high levels of atmospheric carbon. All in all, we are a long way from saving the Coral Reef ecosystems.