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Status of the World's Coral Reefs
24/03/08
source : Clive Wilkinson  Australian Institute of Marine Science


STATUS OF THE WORLD'S CORAL REEFS REPORT
by
THE AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE

Foreword

Coral reefs are particularly important to millions of people around the world as sources of high quality protein, medicinal, and cultural products. They also provide raw materials for dwellings along the coast, and protect fragile shorelines from storm damage and erosion. Many economies are also dependent on reefs and their products. The coral reefs, and the white sand beaches they produce, are worth hundreds of million of dollars in tourism to some tropical countries, and are the mainstay of many small island developing states. Lobster, conch, snapper, and grouper are increasingly in demand by thriving tourist industries as well as the international seafood market.

Coral reefs are also of great value to the world at large as they are the hotspots of marine biodiversity. For example, a small coral reef in Indonesia may support over 300 species of corals, 700 species of fish, and many thousands of other animals and plants.

But in the early 1990s, alarm calls were sounded from all quarters--the reefs of the world were in serious trouble, with large-scale degradation occurring in East Africa, South and Southeast Asia, parts of the Pacific, and cross the Caribbean. These calls were made up of a series of individual reports of reefs being damaged by human activities, or often by a combination of human and natural stress, but there were no clear assessments documenting the status of reefs around the world. Thus came a response by governments, donor agencies, and the scientific community to set up global monitoring programs that could help decision makers and the public evaluate the health of the world's reefs.

In 1994, the government of the USA stimulated the formation of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), and a subsequent Framework for Action, which included the establishment of a Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), which has produced this book. About this time, the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management in Manila (ICLARM), a member of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, set up a global database--ReefBase. Subsequent monitoring efforts include Reef Check, a rapid assessment technique which developed out of Hong Kong and AGRA, a regional initiative for the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. It is very pleasing to note that these programs are not simply research oriented, but are designed to provide resource managers with the type of information they need to make wise decisions for reef conservation.

The World Bank also recognized the importance of coral reefs to its clients, as a global public good under increasing threat from unsustainable development. The Bank, in partnership with the Global Environment Facility and others, is currently supporting the preparation and implementation of a growing portfolio of coral reef conservation and management projects around the world. These include national projects in Indonesia, Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Egypt, India, and Mozambique, and regional initiatives in Mesoamerica and the Red Sea. The World Bank has also been a strong supporter of the International Coral Reef Initiative since its inception, and is now pleased to be a co-sponsor of the GCRMN.

I welcome this summary report on the status of the world's reefs, and urge you to join in supporting efforts such as these to understand not only the physical dimensions of coral reef integrity and health, but the social and economic aspects of how we affect and are affected by the health of these vital marine ecosystems. As we know, the threats to coral reefs from all quarters are increasing. The following report summarizes the unprecedented massive coral bleaching event that occurred during the El Nino-La Nina ocean current oscillations of 1997--1998. From the information provided by this and other monitoring efforts, we can begin to develop a critical baseline against which to monitor trends and evaluate our attempts to introduce better management of reef resources. Only in this way can we hope to reverse the degradation that threatens the very existence of coral reefs and preserve for future generations the contemplation of these natural wonder.

Ismail Serageldin, 19 October 1998
Vice-President, Special Programs
The World Bank




Executive Summary

Clive Wilkinson

How coral reefs respond to stress

Natural resilience of coral reefs to stress

Recent reports from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), Reef Check, and many other projects indicate that coral reefs are under considerable stress and are experiencing considerable damage. Coral reefs have been resilient ecosystems since the Mesozoic (about 200 million years ago), surviving major environmental events such as ice ages, meteor strikes, and large changes in solar activity. Notwithstanding these events, coral reefs have recovered to form the extensive reefs we see today, although recovery may have taken thousands to hundreds-of-thousands of years. For example, during the last ice age (end of the Pleistocene) sea levels fell by over 100 m, killing all existing coral reefs, but corals continued to grow on continental margins and seamounts. When sea levels started to rise 10,000 years ago, corals invaded continental shelves and island slopes and, over the last 6000 years of relatively stable sea level, have been forming new reefs. Coral reefs also have the capacity to regenerate rapidly after catastrophic tropical storms, plagues of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, and severe bleaching. Recovery often takes 15 to 20 years. However, over the past 50 years, there have been major increases in stresses to coral reefs from direct and indirect human activities. These stresses are threatening the existence of reefs in some areas, and will diminish the value of reefs in other areas. Fortunately, the corals on vast areas of remote reefs are unlikely to be severely affected. The same cannot be said about valuable reef fisheries resources.

Natural stresses to coral reefs

The major stresses to reefs are storms and waves, particularly tropical storms and cyclones (called hurricanes in the Atlantic; cyclones in the south Pacific and Indian Oceans; and typhoons in the north Pacific). These cause major intermittent damage to reefs, particularly to those reefs that rarely experience these storms. For example, Guam in the northwest Pacific is hit by one typhoon a year on average, such that the corals are stunted and robust; whereas reefs in the eastern Pacific, such as in French Polynesia and the southern Caribbean, rarely experience such storms, with the result that strong waves from the infrequent storms smash the fragile coral communities.

Freshwater runoff damages reefs in semi-enclosed bays and lagoons of the larger Pacific islands (e.g. Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii) by lowering salinity and depositing large amounts of sediments and nutrients. Reefs are also damaged by volcanic activity (earthquakes, volcanic lava flows, severe uplifting) in the Pacific, for example in Vanautu, the Solomons, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Indonesia. Coral bleaching has been particularly notable recently, and particularly damaging from 1997 to 1998. While bleaching is a response by corals to many stresses, the recent apparent increase in incidence and severity may be a foretaste of global climate change (see below).

The major biological stresses on reefs are predation by the crown-of-thorns starfish, and diseases. Starfish plagues can outbreak on reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and often reappear at 12 to 20 year intervals. In the Caribbean, coral diseases have been particularly devastating in some areas. There is now considerable speculation that the incidence of both these stresses has been exacerbated by human activities.

Human stresses to coral reefs

Increases in human populations and economic activity in the tropics over the past 50 years have resulted in increasing pressures on adjacent reefs. The major damaging factors to reef corals are: pollution from excess sediment and nutrients because of poor land-use practices on high islands, agriculture, industries, urban sewage and over-fishing. The major stress to remote reefs is from over-fishing, particularly the use of destructive methods in the Indo-Pacific over the past 10 to 20 years. In 1997, the first GCRMN/Reef Check global coral reef survey revealed that most reefs show clear evidence of local extinction of species, and obvious damage from blast and poison fishing in the West Pacific. The value of, and demand for, reef fisheries products has increased rapidly, particularly for export to east Asia. The surveys showed that key indicator species, such as giant clams, lobsters, sea cucumbers, pearl shell and trochus, and reef sharks have been removed. Now high-priced fish such as grouper, humphead wrasse, snappers, and parrot fish are being removed from reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific through the use of fine-mesh gill nets and traps, dynamite (usually home-made), and poisons, such as cyanide and bleach. Subsistence fishing is depleting fish stocks in Caribbean, particularly through the use of fine-mesh traps and nets.

Status of the world's reefs

The first and second global GCRMN/Reef Check surveys showed that most of the world's reef corals are in good to excellent condition, because they are either remote from human populations, or are under good management, such as the Great Barrier Reef. But these surveys also showed that management in most marine parks is failing to stop the loss of high-value, edible species, and that greater attention is needed to improve management. The ecological balance in many of the world's best reefs has been altered by the removal of high-value organisms.

A recent estimate by the World Resources Institute in Washington suggested that as many as 56% of the world's reefs are threatened. Finally, there are those reefs that have been severely damaged or destroyed. Approximately 10% of the world's reefs fit into this category, being mined for sand and rock, reclaimed for development (particularly for airports), or have been buried under sediment washing into the sea from inappropriate land use.

Fortunately most reefs have a high capacity for recovery, and if pressures are reduced or removed, many damaged reefs will rebound to a healthy status.

Status of Middle East coral reefs

The Red Sea reefs are only affected in a minor way by human disturbances. Consequently the reefs are in near-pristine condition, and few threats loom on the horizon. Reefs on the Arabian Sea coast are heavily influenced by cool updwellings, which limit coral growth and favor the growth of large algae. But these reefs are only marginally affected by human activities, and remain in good condition. The shallow fringing reefs in the Arabian Gulf are impacted by high sediment runoff, and large fluctuations in temperature and salinity, hence they are not well developed. Also they have been severely impacted by coral bleaching in recent years. There is little active coral-reef management in the region, however, there are projects to increase management capacity and conserve some valuable reefs. An imminent threat to these reef systems is oil pollution from increasing tanker traffic.

Status of western Indian Ocean coral reefs

The status of reefs ranges from those in virtually pristine condition, such as the atolls in mid-ocean, to reefs that are heavily impacted by human activities, such as those fringing the coasts of East Africa and Madagascar. Extensive clearing of land and forests in Kenya, Tanzania, and the Madagascar has led to excessive sediment runoff, which has damaged many reefs. In addition, there is over-fishing, including the use of explosives, so that these reefs are in medium to poor condition. Some reefs on Mauritius have been impacted by sediment runoff from sugar-cane farming, and by over-fishing, whereas the reefs of the Comoros and Seychelles are mostly in good to very good condition, except immediately adjacent to large population centers. Reef management is not well developed, and fisheries and coastal development are poorly regulated. Rapidly increasing populations and tourism are contributing to reef destruction. Recently there has been significant progress in reef management in the Seychelles, Mauritius, Kenya, and Tanzania, particularly in establishing marine protected areas for tourism. Efforts at increasing community-level management are proving successful in some areas of Kenya and Tanzania.

Status of south Asian coral reefs

The coral reefs of south Asia vary considerably. In the Maldives, Laccadive/Lakshadweep and Chagos atolls the status of the oceanic reefs is very good, and virtually undisturbed reefs fringe the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In contrast, the fringing reefs and patch reefs off India and Sri Lanka are predominantly in poor condition, and increased sedimentation, pollution, coral mining, and intensive fishing, including for the aquarium industry, are major problems. Tourism is now the mainstay of the economy in the Maldives, and is increasing in Sri Lanka and the Andaman Islands. Virtually all reefs in South Asia (except Chagos) have suffered major damage from coral bleaching in 1998. Environmental awareness is increasing, and reef management is gradually improving.

Status of southeast Asian coral reefs

Approximately 30% of the coral reefs of the world are in southeast Asia, the global center of biodiversity for hard corals and many other reef animals and plants. But the populations and economies of the region are growing rapidly, mainly in coastal areas, and the result is non-sustainable use and degradation of many reefs, particularly those close to major populations. Some remote reefs may still be healthy, but fishers are moving throughout the region, taking fish by destructive means, especially cyanide. The demand for healthy reefs for tourism may increase reef conservation because tourism can generate long-term sustainable income if managed carefully. Many reefs have been monitored and show a steady decline in live coral cover over the last 15 years. As a response, more marine protected areas have been gazetted, but less than 10% are well managed. Although awareness of the importance of reefs is increasing, recent economic problems will mean that reef conservation may take a lower priority.

Status of Australian coral reefs

The major stresses to Australian reefs are natural, such as cyclones, coral bleaching, and crown-of-thorns starfish. Human stresses are minimal, except on some reefs close to the land, because population density is low, the economic status is high, and fishing pressure is low. Major research is underway to ensure that fishing is sustainable for target species, for total catch, and for reef health. All Australian reefs are efficiently managed, local support for reef management is strong, and compliance is achieved more by education and involvement than by enforcement.

The bulk of the Great Barrier Reef is in good condition because most of it is remote from land influences, but inner shelf reefs may have suffered impacts resulting from increased sediment and nutrient runoff caused by cattle grazing and sugar-cane farming. However the farming industry is working out of both self-interest and concern for the environment to reduce the impacts of sediment and nutrient runoff. All tourist resorts are now required to treat sewage to avoid any runoff, and to manage the areas of reefs that they use.

Reefs off Western Australia are in good health as they are generally not impacted by land influences, and no impacts have been attributed to petroleum exploration or fishing. There is strong recognition by government that the tourism and resource values of coral reefs are particularly high, which means that reef management receives sufficient attention.

Status of northwest Pacific reefs

Reefs of China, Japan, and Taiwan are normally impacted by typhoons and crown-of-thorns starfish, and recently have been severely damaged by sediment, pollution, and over-fishing, including blast and cyanide fishing. Reefs of the Marianas have likewise deteriorated and both coral and fish populations have reduced. However, the reefs of Palau, the Federated State of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands are in good health, except those around population centers where there is sediment and nutrient pollution. The traditional low-level fishing activity has increased dramatically in response to enormous demand from Asia and America. Giant clams, sea cucumbers, trochus shells, lobsters, and top quality fish are often severely depleted, even on remote reefs. Reef conservation is inadequate, although management is improving in all countries. However, far greater efforts are required to arrest the continuing trend of reef degradation.

Status of southwest east Pacific reefs

About 99% of all southwest and east Pacific reefs are remote from urban pollution and sediment degradation, and structurally they remain in good to excellent condition. Reefs near large towns provide benefits in subsistence fishing, recreation, tourism, and shoreline protection, but these reefs are being chronically degraded. There is often significant over-fishing, and giant clams, sea cucumbers, and trochus shells are now rare. Sharks and lobsters have been removed from most remote reefs. This is an increasing trend, and involves cyanide and dynamite fishing for Asian markets. The largest natural threats are from storms and strong wave action, along with crown-of-thorns starfish. Concern is increasing about global climate change, coral bleaching, and stronger El Nino events. Rising sea levels will damage the shores of high islands that are rapidly subsiding, and may destroy low coral islands and jeopardize their island cultures. Management is required to reduce or divert increasing population pressures, and integrate traditional management of reef resources into 'modern' methods.

Status of Central American coral reefs

The Pacific coast reefs of Central America are small, have low diversity, and are being heavily impacted by natural and human pressures. Previous large-scale damage from crown-of-thorns starfish and El Nino bleaching is being compounded by sediment runoff from poor land-use practices. The reefs are remote from external sources of coral larvae, are continually stressed by cold upwellings, and damaged by bio-eroding animals; their potential for natural recovery is very poor. There is little active conservation and very few reefs are protected.

Caribbean reefs off Belize and well offshore to the south have high biodiversity and are in good to excellent condition. Most reefs were heavily damaged by coral bleaching, diseases,and death of the long-spined sea-urchin, but recovery has been good to patchy. Recovery had been poor on reefs being polluted by increased sediment and nutrient runoff resulting from poor land use, and where reefs were over-fished, for example for the reefs off southern Panama. The severe coral bleaching of many reefs, which started in mid-1998, continues, and there is major mortality. Hurricanes also pose a significant threat to reefs north of 15oN. Many of the marine protected areas exist only on paper, but a major project (Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Initiative) aims to increase monitoring and management of reef resources.

Status of northern Caribbean coral reefs

Most reefs are in the northern Caribbean are in fair to relatively good condition, with a few degraded reefs. Some reefs are limited by natural conditions, including hurricanes, and human pressures vary from very high (e.g. off Haiti, and Veracruz in Mexico), to low (e.g. Flower Garden Banks, parts of the Bahamian and Cuban archipelagos). Coral diseases, such as white-band disease, have reduced coral cover on many reefs and the death of the algal-grazing urchin, Diadema antillarum, has resulted in proliferation of fleshy algae, particularly near sources of pollution and in highly fished areas. Stocks of reef fish also vary with socioeconomic conditions and the level of effective management. People are becoming more aware of the ecological and socioeconomic values of reefs, and conservation and sustainable management efforts are increasing.

Status of central Caribbean coral reefs

Awareness of the need for reef conservation is particularly high on Bonaire and the Cayman Islands because reef tourism is a dominant part of the economy. These reefs are essentially healthy with few pressures. However, off the mainland (Colombia and Venezuela) and on Jamaica, reefs have been damaged so that there are fewer fish, more algae, and less coral cover, and current conservation efforts are insufficient to prevent ongoing damage from sediment, nutrient pollution, and over-fishing. Corals have also suffered from bleaching, diseases, and Diadema die-off. Cayman and Bonaire have well-developed reef management strategies, which are being used as examples for the rest of the Caribbean.

Status of eastern Caribbean coral reefs

The Lesser Antilles include high volcanic islands with very narrow continental shelves, and some low coral islands with wider shelves. There are some excellent coral reefs, which are normally stressed by sediment runoff from heavy rains, and by hurricanes. Recently, coral bleaching, coral diseases, tourism, and fishing pressure have resulted in some degradation in many areas, but there are few long-term studies to determine the status of reefs of the trends in their condition. The number of reefs under active and effective management has increased, and the need for better management is being recognized. Community-based management on St. Lucia may prove to be a model for the region.

The coral bleaching event of 1997-1998

There has been unprecedented bleaching of hard and soft corals throughout the coral reefs of the world from mid-1997 to late-1998. Information is coming in daily via the internet and from GCRMN and Reef Check teams. Much of the bleaching coincided with a large El Nino event, followed by a strong La Nina, but bleaching in other areas appears uncorrelated. Four overlapping levels of bleaching are apparent.

· 'catastrophic,' with massive mortality (often near 95% of shallow corals) in Bahrain, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and in large areas of Tanzania; · 'severe' bleaching with around 50-70% mortality, and also coral recovery, in Kenya, Seychelles, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Belize; · 'moderate and patchy' bleaching on some reefs in large areas, with a mix of coral recovery and around 20-50% mortality, but no effects in other parts, such as in Oman, Madagascar, the inner Great Barrier Reef, parts of Indonesia and the Philippines, Taiwan, Palau, French Polynesia, the Galapagos, the Bahamas, Florida, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and Brazil; · 'insignificant' or no bleaching in large areas of the world's reefs such as the Red Sea, the southern Indian Ocean, the Andaman Sea, most of Indonesia, large parts of the Great Barrier Reef, most of the central Pacific, and parts of the southern and eastern Caribbean.

Bleaching and mortality were most pronounced in shallow water (less than 15 m) and particularly affected staghorn and plate Acropora and the other fast growing corals. Many of the massive, slow-growing species bleached, but many recovered within 1 or 2 months. The consensus is that this is the most severe bleaching event ever observed, although in this case there were also more people looking specifically for bleaching following internet advice of the location of above average sea-surface temperatures. Most observations and monitoring are required to determine whether bleached corals will recover (or die), and whether damaged reefs have the potential to 'bounce back.' More importantly, there is a need for continued observations to determine whether this is a rare, severe event, or part of a pattern of increasing disturbance associated with global climate change.

Global efforts to conserve coral reefs

The internationally community responded to alarm calls on the status of coral reefs in the early 1990s with major initiatives. The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) was catalyzed by the USA in 1994 and now has the participation of Australia, France, Jamaica, Japan, the Philippines, Sweden, UK, and major agencies like UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the World Bank, ICLARM (International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management), and SPREP (South Pacific Regional Environment Programme). ICRI has consulted over 100 countries to catalogue their concerns, requirements, and ideas, and to document their actions to conserve reef resources and has developed a major strategy that has been endorsed by over 80 countries--the ICRI Call to Action and Framework for Action. This strategy will be reviewed, and progress will be evaluated at the International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium in Townsville, November 1998.

One universal call from the international community was for more information and data on the status of reefs. This catalyzed the formation of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) under the sponsorship of IOC/UNESCO, UNEP, IUCN (the World Conservation Union), and the World Bank. The GCRMN is assisting about 80 countries to form nodes, built around existing expertise, to provide training in monitoring the reefs and to work with communities to assess reef-use patterns. These two themes bring in expertise from the two host organizations, AIMS (Australian Institute of Marine Science) and ICLARM, with considerable funding from the government of the USA. Monitoring has started and the data gathered are flowing into ReefBase, the global database housed in ICLARM. This book is a product of the GCRMN.

A parallel monitoring programme involving volunteers--Reef Check, joined the GCRMN to broaden global monitoring to include user communities. The first truly global surveys in 1997 and 1998 gathered data using one method for comparison from over 300 sites around the world. This programme, based at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, uses basic assessment methods to document exploitation of reef resources throughout the world. Reef check has built up a strong following among scientists and recreational divers, and achieved a major goal in raising awareness among the public and governments about the need for coral reef conservation. Participation in Reef Check is the first step towards community-based management and this has now occurred in over 40 countries.

CARICOMP (Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity Program) is an environmental monitoring programme that includes reefs, which will coordinate monitoring in small Caribbean countries and states for the GCRMN. A coral reef mapping project called AGRA (Atlanta and Gulf Reef Assessment) was launched by scientists at the University of Miami in florida in 1998, to map reef health. Another programme, (AQUANAUT) has been developed by ICLARM to train divemasters to lead reef assessment teams.

The problems facing coral reefs and the people who use and appreciate them are enormous and increasing. But in parallel there is increasing global awareness of the need for action, and many people, agencies and countries, are putting resources to reef assessment and conservation. A new integrated programme combining many of the initiatives above--the International Coral Reef Action Network, working within the Regional Seas network of UNEP--is now seeking funds to enable the move from consulting, meeting, and planing, to action and results to conserve global reef resources.


Acknowledgements

The production of this book had a gestation period of more than three years. At the International Coral Reef Initiative meeting in Dumaguete, Philippines in May-June 1995, a call was made to form the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) and one of its tasks was to produce a report on the ecological condition of coral reefs for international forums. This is the first of those reports. In June 1996, Bernard Salvat (EPHE University of Perpignan, France) and I organized a session at the 8th International Coral Reef Symposium in Panama at which many of these papers summarizing the status of coral reefs were presented and most were published in the proceedings.

The authors who contributed then, and have since assisted in editing and updating the essays, are specially thanked--without them there would be no volume. Some of the essays required considerable reworking to fit into the style of this book, and this has consumed much of the author's time--thank you.

The GCRMN has for co-sponsors. Particular thanks go to Patricio Bernal, the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, and George Grice, who have been major supporters of the GCRMN and have assisted in many administrative and policy matters. The United Nations have assisted in many administrative and policy matters. The United Nations Environment Programme and Agneta Nilsson have provided strong advice and financial support, and help has been obtained from some regional offices of the World Conservation Union (IUCN in Nairobi and Colombo). Recently the World Bank joined as a co-sponsor, and Ismail Serageldin, Marea Hatziolos and Andy Hooten gave strong moral support and advice prior to this.

The major financial support to keep the GCRMN going has come principally through the help of Peter Thomas of the Department of State, and Author Paterson, of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration of the US Government. These agencies have provided most of the financial support for the Network, along with a considerable contribution from my home institution, the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

The donors of funds for the production of this volume listed on the front and back covers are specially thanked, as their generosity has enabled us to distribute this book at no charge. Particular thanks go to those people who acted as their agents: Bernard Salvat on behalf of EPHE and Naturalia et Biologia; Ismail Serageldin, Marea Hatziolos and Andy Hooten for the World Bank; Lynne Hale of CRC, University of Rhode Island and USAID; Steve Colwell on behalf of CORAL--The Coral Reef Alliance; George Grice on behalf of IOC/UNESCO; and Olof Linden on behalf of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries (SAREC).

The Director (Russell Reichelt) and staff of the Australian Institute of Marine Science are thanked for providing considerable advice on coral reefs and monitoring, and for the production of this book, especially Terry Done, Hugh Sweatman and Will Oxley. The Director General of ICLARM (Meryl Williams) and John McManus and the team in ReefBase have given great support and provided data for many of these essays.

Most importantly, I wish to thank those wonderfully helpful and patient people in AIMS Science Communications: Sandra Child, Steve Clarke, Wendy Ellery, and Tim Simmonds. Sandra was particularly helpful as an editor, correcting many little flaws of scientific jargon under high pressure of deadlines. Janelle Lane made an excellent job of the maps.

Last, but not least, special thanks go to Bernard Salvat and George Grice who are the two main advisors for the GCRMN, and who both provide almost day-to-day assistance, and to Madeleine Nowak who kept me sane when I was putting this together.

Clive Wilkinson
Australian Institute of Marine Science
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Over fishing Threatens Shark Extinction
25/06/09

Student film highlights plight of the oceans
04/05/09

Ocean Acidification threatens underwater ecosystems
04/05/09

Drowning in Plastic
30/04/09

'Clean' Coal Plants Get Go-Ahead
23/04/09

Paving the Road to COP15: Adaptation and Outreach
21/03/09

The Road to Catastrophe
20/03/09

World's leading scientists i n desperate plea to politicians to act on climate change
14/03/09

Pollution to devastate shellfish by turning seas acidic
14/03/09

THREATS FROM OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
11/03/09

CO2 HIGHEST FOR 650,000 YEARS
01/03/09

SLOW PROGRESS ON OCEAN PROTECTION
28/02/09

Jellyfish and Chips
18/02/09

London Marathon Motivation
07/02/09

EU Gives Shark Protection Teeth
06/02/09

ACID OCEANS 'NEED URGENT ATTENTION'
31/01/09

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION - The other CO2 problem
28/01/09

Panel Warns on Great Barrier Reef
03/01/09

Coral Reef Growth is Slowest Ever
03/01/09

2008
Changes amplify Arctic Warming
17/12/08

Rise in CO2 affrects Jumbo Squid
16/12/08

Jellyfish Invasion
21/11/08

The Rate of Ocean Acidification
18/11/08

Ocean Acidification Impacts
18/11/08

Impact of Ocean Acidification on Coral Reefs and Other Calcifiers
20/10/08

Nature Loss Dwarfs Bank Crisis
10/10/08

The Creation of Artificial Reefs
23/09/08

Iceland - Fossil fuels to Hydrogen-based Economy
17/09/08

The world's oceans at risk from rising acidity
25/07/08

Coral reefs under threat from humans
11/07/08

Ocean Acidification - Plankton hold surprise for Climate Research
28/06/08

Anthropogenic Ocean Acidification over the 21st Century and its Impact on Calcifying Organisms
13/06/08

Mileage from Megawatts
12/06/08

Could US scientists 'CO2 Catcher' help slow warming ?
09/06/08

Sharks Swim Closer to Extinction
22/05/08

Wildlife Populations Plummeting
16/05/08

Introducing Hydrogen Power
30/04/08

Ocean Acidification - Technical Information
28/04/08

Carbon Capture and Storage - UKCCSC Project
28/04/08

Lemon Sharks and Dogfish - Hyperbaric Sensitivity ??
29/03/08

The GAIA Theory
26/03/08

Status of the World's Coral Reefs
24/03/08

Krill, Fishing Threatens the Antarctic
23/03/08

Marine Altruistic Behaviour - - 4 stories
22/03/08

Global Sea Level Changes
22/03/08

Climate Change Controversies - A Simple Guide
21/03/08

Sharks and Coral Reefs (One year on)
10/03/08

Shark Species face extinction amid overfishing and appetite for fins
28/02/08

SCCT Presentation Uptake
11/02/08

Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean Acidification
27/01/08

An exchange of views on Marine Reserves and Trophic Cascades
25/01/08

2007
The Effects of Global Warming on the Great Barrier Reef
21/12/07

Microbial Ecology and Evolution:A Discussion at Metagenomics 2006
15/12/07

Habitat Conservation
28/11/07

Marine Balances and Climate Engineering
27/11/07

Oceans are 'soaking up' less CO2
20/10/07

Algal Blooms in the Ocean
08/09/07

UK Marine Bill
15/08/07

Tourism Vs Traditional Fishing
10/08/07

US National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks
29/07/07

Shark Depredation and unwanted Bycatch in Pelagic Longline Fisheries
17/07/07

Ecosystems: Coral Reefs
28/06/07

Shell-shocked
20/06/07

Ongoing Collapse of Coral Reef Shark Population
12/06/07

Shark trade restriction bid fails
12/06/07

Be nicer to sharks
26/05/07

Cascading Effects of the loss of Apex Predatory Sharks from a Coastal Ocean
25/05/07

Sharks are vital for Coral Reef Health
25/05/07

Sharkless Seas
21/05/07