Grazing fish must be protected to save Caribbean coral, scientists say
Coral reefs in the Caribbean are being smothered by algae and could soon be damaged beyond repair unless there is a campaign to protect a grazing fish that feeds on the aquatic plant, a study has found.
Scientists say much of the coral in the Caribbean risks being killed because algae is growing over it faster than it can be removed by grazers such as the sea urchin and parrotfish.
A study that attempts to chart the future decline of Caribbean coral has found that protecting parrotfish – which are prized for the dinner table – could be one of the best ways of trying to help coral reefs recover from several years of being smothered by expanding colonies of algae.
Coral reefs in the region have suffered from a range of environmental assaults over the past 30 years, from hurricanes and pollution to climate change.
The scientists found that reefs overgrown with algae would not recover if the original cause of the problem, such as pollution, was addressed because they had become permanently unhealthy.
Professor Peter Mumby, of the University of Exeter, said: "If we carry on the way we are reefs will change forever. This will be devastating for the Caribbean's rich marine environment and the livelihood of millions."
The study, published in the journal Nature, called for a ban on fish traps to protect parrotfish.
Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
Church of England threatens to cease BP and Shell investments over climate concerns
Animal Extinction - the greatest threat to mankind
Organic farming can feed the world if done right, scientists claim
Prince William attacks China over 'ignorant craving' for ivory
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...