A Reef Manager’s Guide to Coral Bleaching
Posted byCAKE Team
The biological diversity and productivity of coral reefs underpins the welfare of many societies throughout the world's tropical regions. Coral reefs form the foundation of dive tourism industries, support fisheries and are important to cultural traditions.They play an essential role in buffering coastal communities from storm waves and erosion, and they contain a largely untapped wealth of biochemical resources.Tens of millions of people depend upon reefs for all or part of their livelihood, and over a billion people rely on reef-related fisheries worldwide.
With coral reefs providing such essential services to humans, the prospect of their continued widespread degradation is of concern. Pollution, habitat destruction, disease and unsustainable fishing have now led to declines in reef condition throughout the world.Against this backdrop of conventional stresses, the threat of mass coral bleaching has recently emerged, leading to what has been widely acknowledged as a 'coral reef crisis'.
This guide builds on these recent initiatives by bringing together the latest scientific knowledge and management experience to assist managers in responding effectively to mass coral bleaching events. It synthesises science and management information, explores emerging strategies, and informs the ways managers deal with the complex human dimensions of these issues. Importantly, this guide is designed to provide pragmatic, science-based suggestions for adaptive management in this time of change.
We commend it to reef managers worldwide, and hope that the experience of implementing the ideas within will further advance scientific knowledge and the practice of coral reef management.
Marshall P.A. and Schuttenberg, H.Z. (2006). A Reef Manager’s Guide to Coral Bleaching. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australia (ISBN 1-876945-40-0).