A marine scientist gathers data on coral reefs near Fiji for the largest coral study ever conducted. Credit: Emily Darling/WCS.
Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Full article issued by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

The world’s largest coordinated study of coral reefs identifies just where and how to save coral reefs across the Indo-Pacific.

More than 80 scientists, including an Australian team from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, scoured 44 countries and 2,500 coral reefs across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Together they identified key social-environmental pressures and human impacts on coral reefs, recommending key strategies to save and protect them.

The study found nearly 450 reefs in 22 countries survived recent heat extremes in climate ‘cool spots’. It’s these spots the authors say should be prioritised for urgent protection and management.

Dr Georgina Gurney, a recipient of ARC Future Fellowship funding, based at the Centre of Excellence, says that while sustaining coral reefs depends largely on reducing carbon emissions, “identifying reefs that are likely to respond—or importantly, not respond—to local management is critical to targeting development and management strategies to build the well-being of the millions of people dependent on coral reefs across the globe.”

Photo credit: 

Image: A marine scientist gathers data on coral reefs near Fiji for the largest coral study ever conducted. Credit: Emily Darling/WCS.