Status of Coral Reefs of the Pacific and Outlook: 2011
Coral reefs are integral • to the cultures and nutrition of many Pacific peoples; this report was developed to assist reef conservation for those peoples. Most coral reefs in the Pacific remain generally healthy, with strong potential for recovery of coral, fish and invertebrate populations after damaging events. There are, however, many signs of decline, especially on reefs around population centres and in lagoons. The main drivers of changes in coral cover at larger scales include major ‘natural’ stresses in storms and cyclones, outbreaks of crown-of-thorns seastars (COTS) and coral bleaching driven by climate change. The trends in coral cover vary considerably from country to country. Current reef status is a reflection of recent damaging events, predominantly ‘natural’, and most damaged reefs appear to be recovering. While trends in reefs can be detected for individual countries and territories, no strong Pacific-wide or regional trend is evident.
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