30 Sep '11, 5am

Coral reefs that appear healthy may in reality be heading for collapse #SaveourSeas #oceans

Coral reefs that appear healthy may in reality be heading for collapse #SaveourSeas #oceans

Coral reefs that appear healthy may in reality be heading for collapse, according to the results of a study published recently in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups showed that overfished reefs undergo a series of at least eight important changes before final collapse. Each step, like throwing a switch to shut off the lights, leads to a dimmer chance that the reef will recover. An international team of scientists collaborated to study reef systems across the western Indian Ocean, where they discovered that overfishing causes pressures on reefs that lead to predictable, and increasingly more severe, declines in the health of the ecosystem. By understanding the nature of these points of no return, it should be possible to for local fisherman to coexist with the reefs...

Full article: http://www.earthtimes.org/conservation/coral-reefs-vulner...

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