[Coral-List] Coral reefs importance brainstorm

Andy Collins Andy.Collins at noaa.gov
Sat Aug 16 16:06:04 EDT 2003

Aloha Coral List Members,

In the recent batch of articles, particularly in Science magazine, 
concerning worldwide coral reef decline there appears to be little 
discussion of the importance of coral reefs.  There is a lot of 
discussion over why they are "doomed" and how long it will take for them 
to disappear completely at the rate they are declining but I find the 
discussion over why they are important lacking.  There is always mention 
of coral reef biodiversity, protection from storms, protection for 
intrinsic value, and importance to those cultures that get their food 
directly from the reef but I would like more information.

I am particulrly interetested in the importance of coral reef habitats 
to economically important pelagic species larvae, such as tuna or 
billfish (particularly Hawaiian and Pacific coral reefs).  I do not have 
much information on this, or to what degree coral reefs are important to 
these species.  I would also like general information about the 
importance of coral reefs, and what effects might be seen from their 
decline.  I realize this is a very generic question, but as an outreach 
person I always get the stupid questions, like:
"Why should I worry about coral reefs.....what are they good for anyway?"
And I can use all the ammunition I can get my hands on.


Andy Collins
Education Coordinator/Webmaster
NOAA/NOS Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve
6700 Kalaniana'ole Hwy. # 215
Honolulu, HI 96825
Ph: (808)397-2659
Mobile: (808)347-8144
Fx: (808)397-2662

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