Worldwide, the biodiversity of coral reefs is threatened and the existing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are not sufficient to ensure their conservation.
Work published in Science magazine shows that only a very small proportion of coral reefs, 2%, is located in places that meet the requirements of the legislation (level of protection, possible hazards, size and isolation of reefs).
In fact, less than 0.1% of reefs are really protected from all types of extraction, whether legal or illicit. The research was conducted by researchers from the University of Auckland (New Zealand), working with six institutions, including the IRD in Noumea.
The research teams recommend the setting-up of an ideal network of MPAs built according to criteria of size and distance between sites in order to conserve the biodiversity of coral reefs.
For reserves of 10 to 20 km2 diameter, 15 km apart, more than 2500 new MPAs would have to be created if there is to be any hope of conserving even 5% of the Earth