caribbean tagged posts

Scientists create guidelines to help conserve Caribbean coral reefs

At a critical time for economies and the ocean, The Nature Conservancy, the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association and the United Nations Environment Programme joined forces to create, for the first time in the Caribbean, a guide to coral reef restoration designed specifically for the tourism sector. 

Healthy coral reefs are essential for the Caribbean tourism industry, which drives local economies and supports hundreds of thousands of livelihoods throughout the region. A Guide to Coral Reef Restoration for the Tourism Sector presents coral restoration best practices backed by scientific research, practitioner experience and stakeholder input...

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UNEP ‘Caribbean Could Lose Coral Reefs By End Of Century’

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned that the Caribbean, among other places, could lose its coral reefs by the end of the century unless there are drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. 

“In the face of inaction, coral reefs will soon disappear,” said Leticia Carvalho, head of UNEP’s Marine and Freshwater Branch. 

“Humanity must act with evidence-based urgency, ambition, and innovation to change the trajectory for this ecosystem, which is the canary in the coal mine for climate’s impact on oceans before it’s too late,” she added. 

UNEP said coral reefs are “incredibly important and sustain a wide variety of marine life.”

They also protect coastlines from erosions from waves and storms, sink carbon and nitrogen, and help recycle...

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Caribbean Fish Stocks Dwindling as Illegal Fishing Intensifies

illegal caribbean fishing boats
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, between 20 and 30 percent of fishing in Caribbean waters is illegal. Biodiversity in the Caribbean Sea is at serious risk, scientists are warning, with illegal fishing reducing fish stocks and placing the marine environment under increasing strain.

“I cannot say what it’s due to or if there are external factors, but certainly in my more than 30 years in the profession I have seen a reduction in fish,” says Efe Vernal Nicholls, president of the Caribbean Network of Fishermen’s Associations.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), between 20 and 30 percent of fishing in Caribbean waters is illegal, unreported and unregulated, and worth as much as US$750 million every year.

Fishing fleets arriving from ...

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Parrotfish, sea urchins essential to Caribbean reef survival


Colorful parrotfish and spindly sea urchins are the key to saving the Caribbean’s coral reefs, which may disappear in two decades if no action is taken, a report by several international organizations said Wednesday. The report, which analyzed the work of 90 experts over three years, said Caribbean reefs have declined by more than 50 percent since the 1970s. It said that while many experts have blamed climate change for the problem, a drop in the populations of parrotfish and sea urchins is largely responsible.

Parrotfish and sea urchins feed off seaweed, and a drop in their numbers has led to an increase in seaweed, which smothers coral reefs, Jeremy Jackson, lead author of the report, said.

“The situation is truly horrific in the sense that you have all these places that are despera...

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Coral mappers reach Caribbean waters

Caribbean coral

Coral reefs teem with a diverse array of life and colour, but in many places around the world, their future is uncertain. The Caribbean, where this vibrant moray eel was shot by an advance party for the mappers, is having a particularly bad time of it. Over the past 50 years, 80 per cent of the coral reef cover there has been lost to a perfect storm of pollution, overfishing, rising temperatures and ocean acidification. Researchers worry that others could soon be in a similar state.

More detailed, comparable information on how reefs are faring around the world is vital if we are going to be able to protect them.

One group attempting to do this is the Catlin Seaview Survey...

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