Major report points to overfishing for Caribbean coral reef decline


A recent major report, Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs, from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was published pointing to overfishing as the culprit of Caribbean coral reef decline. The report included data that spanned Caribbean coral reef data from over 40 years and was analyzed by 90 experts over the course of 3 years.

Although the findings of the report showed that ocean acidification, coral bleaching and climate change pose threats to Caribbean coral reefs, the real conclusion of the report pointed to local pressures such as tourism, overfishing and pollution. These local pressures led directly to the declines in grazing species such as parrotfish and sea urchins, which in turn has led to the greatest loss in coral in the Caribbean due to algal growth.

Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs can be found here.