Coral reef scientists have concluded that the greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges submitted to date by the international community for consideration at the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention (COP21), to be held at the end of next month in Paris, fall well short of what is required to avoid this biodiversity catastrophe.

A consortium of ocean scientists, reef mappers and community-based monitoring teams, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), XL Catlin Seaview Survey, The University of Queensland, and Reef Check, today confirmed a “global coral bleaching event” is underway. Increased ocean temperatures due to climate change, combined with the warming effects of an El Niño pattern and a Pacific warm water mass referred to as “The Blob”, are driving temperatures to record levels and threatening to severely deplete the coral reef ecosystems that support fish habitats, shoreline protection and coastal economies.

During her visit to Saba and Bonaire, Dutch State Secretary of Economic Affairs, Mrs. Sharon Dijksma, opened the “Yarari” marine mammal and shark sanctuary. The populations of sharks worldwide are in sharp decline and therefore need extra protection against illegal fishing and bycatch in regulated fisheries. The local nature conservation and fisheries organizations will be involved in the protection. With this eleventh shark sanctuary in the world the Netherlands will actively protect sharks in the Caribbean Sea. The name of the Sanctuary “Yarari” is an Taíno Indian word, meaning ‘a fine place’

More sharks, more fish

Populations of fish critical to human food security are in serious decline worldwide with some at risk of collapse according to the emergency edition of a WWF report released today. WWF’s Living Blue Planet Report finds that much of the activity threatening the ocean is avoidable and solutions do exist to turn the tide.

NEW YORK (September 1, 2015)— A new study by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) has found that coral reef diversity ‘hotspots’ in the southwestern Indian Ocean rely more on the biomass of fish than where they are located, a conclusion that has major implications for management decisions to protect coral reef ecosystems.

The International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) awards acknowledge the scholarship and work of members within ISRS. The ISRS solicits and encourages nominations from members of the ISRS for each of the awards listed below:

  • Young Scientist Award
  • Mid-Career Scientist Award
  • Eminence in Research Award
  • World Reef Award
  • ISRS Fellow

Please think of your well-deserving colleagues and submit a nomination. We encourage nominations of members from any country of origin. Additional details and nomination forms for each award can be found at http://coralreefs.org/society-awards-and-grants/awards-fellowships/

Syndicate content