info request: global coral reef coverage

Tim Adams TJA at
Sat Feb 15 00:08:00 EST 1997

The $1,000,000 question!

Has anyone actually yet published any information to update Smith's
estimate in 1978 (Nature 273: 225-6)? Has anyone even defined what
"coral reef coverage" actually means? (dead structural coral is almost
as important as live coral in providing fish habitat, for instance)

It is a little difficult to develop national policies and management
measures (and sustainability indicators in particular) for artisanal and
subsistence coral reef fisheries, for example, when you don't even know
this fundamental statistic for anything except a few reefs in a few
countries. And as Tanya presumably has found, it is impossible to
estimate global potentials and limits when there are so many gaps and

I would also be *very* interested in any replies to this question...

Tim Adams
South Pacific Commission
tja at

>From: 	Tanya Dobrzynski[SMTP:aoctd at]
>Sent: 	Saturday, February 15, 1997 2:46 AM
>To: 	coral-list at
>Subject: 	info request: global coral reef coverage
>Can anyone verify either of the following fisgure for global coral 
>reef coverage?  I have read most often 600,000 sq km but recently 
>heard that 230,000 sq km is a more accurate assessment.
>Thanks for your time,
>Tanya Dobrzynski
>American Oceans Campaign
>aoctd at

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