Reef Check Five Year Report

Lena Maun lmaun at
Wed Aug 28 19:56:59 EDT 2002

The Reef Check Foundation proudly reports our 5-year report:

5 Years of Reef Check: The Global Coral Reef Crisis, Trends and Solutions

is now available.

Reef Check was developed in 1996 as a volunteer, community-based monitoring
protocol designed to measure the health of coral reefs on a global scale.
Now in its sixth year of operation, Reef Check is active in over 60
countries and territories throughout the tropical world.

The report is a culmination of standardized data recorded between 1997 and
2001 at over 1500 reefs in the Atlantic, Indo-pacific and Red Sea. Following
quality assurance procedures, 1107 sites were accepted for analysis.

Key findings included:
• At the global scale, zero spiny lobster were recorded at 83% of shallow
reefs indicating severe overfishing; there was a significant decline in
lobster abundance in the Atlantic;

• The mean abundance of Diadema sea urchins decreased significantly in the
Indo-Pacific from 1998 to 2000, approaching levels similar to those found in
the Atlantic and possibly indicating ecological destabilization;

• Four species of fish are in critical condition: Nassau grouper were absent
from 82% of shallow Caribbean reefs – only eight reefs had more than one
fish. Barramundi cod, bumphead parrotfish and humphead wrasse were missing
from 95%, 89% and 88% of Indo-pacific reefs respectively;

• The 1997-98 bleaching event reduced live coral cover by 10% globally,
indicating that coral reefs are a sensitive indicator of global warming;

• Marine protected areas (MPAs) in developing countries are showing some
success. Five of ten fish and one of ten invertebrate indicators were
significantly more abundant inside than outside MPAs.

The Executive Summary is now online at

Full Reports, in both print and CD format, are available to order. Ordering
information can be found on our website at

Please contact rcheck at or 310 794-4985 for more information. Thanks!

Lena Maun, Program Manager
Reef Check
Institute of the Environment
1652 Hershey Hall, UCLA
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496
Tel: 310-794-4985
Fax: 310-825-0758

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