January 25, 2010

Recovery of coral reefs linked to healthy fish

A study by the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom indicates that coral reefs damaged by climate change can recover. Over a two-and-a-half year time period, the scientists evaluated reefs at 10 sites throughout the Bahamas that had been severely damaged, first by acidification and bleaching and then by a devastating hurricane in 2004.

The study showed that coral reefs located within marine reserves had increased in growth by an average of 19%, while reefs in non-reserve sites showed no recovery.

This finding does not bode well for reef recovery as only about 2% of the world's coral reefs are located within marine reserves that are protected against damaging activities like fishing.

Lead study scientist, Professor Peter Mumby explained that certain marine life like parrotfish eat seaweed, which then allows the corals to grow freely and that governments should thus consider expanding the protected areas. He explained: “In order to protect reefs in the long-term we need radical action to reduce CO2 emissions.

However, our research shows that local action to reduce the effects of fishing can contribute meaningfully to the fate of (the) reefs.” Professor Mumby and University of Exeter researchers, you have our heartfelt thanks for your encouraging findings. May governments and individuals alike join in sustainable actions to save our precious marine environments.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently spoken of the need to preserve Earth’s biodiversity, as in an interview published in the September 2009 edition of the British Parliament's The House Magazine.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: No matter how small, each species has a role to help balance our ecosystem, scientifically proven. And yet, consumption of both fish and animal flesh continue and are wreaking havoc on biodiversity around the globe.

In the oceans and fresh waterways, so many species of fish have already been lost, with complete aquatic environments such as coral reefs being decimated by such practices as trawling and fishing with explosives.

The answer to all of this is quite clear. Stop the meat consumption. Stop it yesterday. This will allow biodiversity to be replenished. This is the way we need to go, and fast.


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