According to a new studying published in the international science journal Nature, some areas of coral reefs are thriving! Despite environmental factors and human impact, some areas are seemingly “bright spots” in reef ecosystems. These are regions where scientists see hope for future conservation efforts.
The study surveyed 2,500 reefs in 46 countries. Surprisingly, the 15 reefs with the most robust fish populations were not in the remote areas with low fishing activity. Scientists concluded that these reefs, mostly found in the Pacific Ocean, such as Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, benefit from responsible management on the part of local government. The traditional customs of the regions, including rotational fishing and the prevention of over-fishing by outside groups, allows the reefs to recover from human interaction.
Conversely, the study also revealed that 35 “dark spots” also exist in places like Hawaii and Australia. Unlike other areas, these countries have greater access to advanced fishing technologies that aid in the exploitation of reefs. Additionally, these regions also suffer from environmental impacts from human behavior, like bleaching.
Using the information gained from these “bright spots” in coral reefs, scientists hope to encourage more sustainable practices in areas currently deemed “dark spots.” Living symbiotically with reefs and developing creative solutions can benefit these regions ecologically and economically.
You can read the full study here.