NatureVolve

Don’t for­get to pro­tect iso­lated reefs off the Gulf of Mex­ico

-

Pro­tect­ing reefs is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for re­gions like the south­ern Gulf of Mex­ico where tourism and pop­u­la­tion is ris­ing. In the past, at first glance, iso­lated reefs in par­tic­u­lar seemed to be rel­a­tively safe from the harm­ful im­pacts of man-made in­dus­try, be­ing cut-off com­pared to other reef sys­tems. How­ever, in re­cent times, is this still the case, par­tic­u­larly in ar­eas that have been un­pro­tected?

Fabio Fa­voretto is a ma­rine ecol­o­gist who con­ducted eco­log­i­cal re­search at iso­lated reefs off the coast of the south­ern Gulf of Mex­ico. The re­search team went div­ing with un­der­wa­ter mea­sure­ment tools, count­ing and mea­sur­ing the ma­rine life in iso­lated reefs. Some iso­lated reefs are pro­tected from the dan­gers of over­fish­ing, how­ever some are not. Fabio and the re­search team made some strik­ing dis­cov­er­ies about how the states of pro­tected and un­pro­tected reefs com­pare.

 ??  ?? Above: Large preda­tors like this large grouper are a sign of good health of a reef when in high abun­dance.
Large fishes are the main tar­get of fish­er­men. Photo credit: Mares Mex­i­canos, Diego Gamero. All rights re­served.
Above: Large preda­tors like this large grouper are a sign of good health of a reef when in high abun­dance. Large fishes are the main tar­get of fish­er­men. Photo credit: Mares Mex­i­canos, Diego Gamero. All rights re­served.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK