Coral Reef Conservation Policies

This topic submitted by Vera L Figueiredo ( figueivl@miamioh.edu) at 11:54 PM on 5/12/07.

A fabulous sunset at Drake Bay near Corcovado national park, Costa Rica. See other beautiful phenomena from the Costa Rica.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University



Coral Reefs are highly diverse and productive ecosystems that are threatened by many hazards. Although there are currently many organizations, foundations, and alliances put in place to help the restoration and conservation of these ecosystems conservation efforts have not been completely successful. This paper discusses some of the conservation policies currently in place and why they have not been successful as well as what can be done to improve policies.

I. Introduction
A. Coral Reef Ecosystems
1. Shallow water ecosystems
2. Biological productivity
3. Resources
II. Biological Importance
A. Productivity
1.Most biologically productive systems
a. Symbiosis
B. Biological Diversity
1. Genetic diversity
a. environmental adaptations
III. Anthropogenic Importance
A. Half a billion people depend on reefs
1. Food source
B. Tourism
1. Destination for:
a. Scuba diving
b. Snorkeling
c. Fishing
2. Businesses support regions economy
a. Hotels
b. Restaurants
c. Tours
C. Global economy
1. Three hundred seventy five billion dollars per year
2. Natural products
a. Pharmaceuticals
IV. Threats and Hazards
A. Human Activities
1. Over fishing
2. Over exploitation
a. Recreational
b. Commercial
3. Improper fishing strategies
a. Monofilament fishing
4. Pollution
5. Invasive species
6. Dredging and shoreline modification
7. Vessel anchoring
B. Global Climate Change
1. Cause stress
a. Coral disease outbreaks
b. Coral bleaching

V. Conservation Efforts
A. 691 organizations
1. Government agencies
a. Over $100 million on restoration efforts
B. Restoration Efforts
1. Long-term assessments and monitoring
2. Reduction of habitat destruction
3. Reduction of pollution
4. Reduction or international trade impacts
C. Efforts not Successful
1. Conservation priorities
a. Focus on one reef system alone
b. Hotspots
2. Organizations
a. Coral Reef Task Force
b. International Coral Reef Initiatives
c. Reef Relief
d. Reef Guardian International
e. Coral Reef Alliance
VI. Conclusion

VII. References
Birkeland, C. 2004. Ratcheting Down the Coral Reefs. University of Hawaii. BioScience. 54:1021-1027.

Borneman, E. Weiner, D. 2005. Reef Protection International. Earth Island Journal.

Briggs, J. C. 2005. Coral Reefs: Conserving the Evolutionary Sources. University of Georgia. Biological Conservation. 126:297-305.

Fujita, R. M. et al. 1992. A Guide to Protecting Coral Reefs. Environmental Defense Fund, Global Coral Reef Alliance, Environmental Solutions International.

Jokiel, P. L. Brown, E. K. 2004. Global Warming, Regional Trends and Inshore Environmental Conditions Influence Coral Bleaching in Hawaii. Hawaii Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program. Global Change Biology. 10: 1627-1641.

Parrish, M. 2005. Are U.S. Coral Reefs on the Slippery Slope to Slime? Policy Forum. Science. 307: 1725-1726.

Yoshikawa, T. Asoh, K. 2004. Entanglement of Monofilament Fishing Lines and Coral Deaths. University of Hawaii at Manoa. Biological Conservation. 117: 557-560.

1997. International Year of the Reef. NOAA Coral Reef Initiative. www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov.

2000. The National Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs. United States Coral Reef Task Force. Washington D.C.

2004. Coral Reef Symbiosis. Jason Education Project: Ocean World. Texas
A & M University. http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/students/coral/coral3.htm

2007. ICRI: The International Coral Reef Initiative www.icriforum.org



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