[Coral-List] What do coral reef scientists perceive are the major threats to Caribbean coral reefs?

Isaac Westfield seymour47 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 11 10:42:20 EDT 2014

Cutting the threats to coral reefs down to 4, large, all-inclusive
categories seems like an immense and careless over-simplification, given
the goal of the proposed study. The average person you talk to is unlikely
to put forward 'land-based sources of marine pollution' as their perceived

The other issue with I have with simplification like this is, how do you
apply this to mitigation? If I want to reduce land-based pollution, do I
address eutrophication of reefs due to fertilization of agriculture
adjacent to river systems that empty onto marine habitats? Do I suggest
reductions in cement usage to help curb production of CO2? Do I try and
protect marine habitats from garbage dumped by large vessels during transit?

These are the sorts of 'percieved' and more finely categorized threats I
believe they are looking for and are more likely to be suggested by the
public. Cutting it down to 4 main topics is fine for a powerpoint
presentation, but if you want to get down to the nitty gritty you need to
expand your horizons a bit. Yes we need to address the large scale topics
to solve these problems, but you have to address a lot of the small things
to get at the big things.

On Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 9:58 AM, Iain Macdonald
<dr_iamacdonald at yahoo.co.uk>wrote:

> Surely it is am simple as the IMO say - the 4 major threats to our
> "oceans" (replace with Caribbean if you will) are invasive marine
> species, land-based sources of marine pollution, over exploitation of
> living marine resources and physical alteration/destruction of marine
> habitat.
> CO2 related global warming and ocean acidification fall under "land-based
> sources" i would say given the thermal "pollution" relationship. Start
> solving these and we start moving forward. That's easy then!
> All the other "threats" are either a personal peeve of that person or
> their research interest. Not bias then..... and curing them will not help
> in the long run if not examined holistically.
> On Friday, 11 April 2014, 14:16, Sarah Young <syoungresides at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> Dear Coral List,
> I have been an active reader of coral list for the last 15 years and this
> is my first post!  Fingers crossed you can help....
> Newcastle University in conjunction with UK overseas territory government
> departments have amassed a large dataset on *perceived* impacts and threats
> to Caribbean coral reefs.  These range from sun cream to anchor damage.  We
> are testing the hypothesis that people will be more supportive of
> management initiatives seen to be addressing threats they view as
> important, leading to reduced implementation and enforcement costs.
> Notably absent from the majority of interview responses were any mention of
> coral bleaching, ocean acidification, climate change or overfishing.  So we
> would like to compare our perception data to (preferably) a ranked list of
> scientific expert derived threats to Caribbean coral reefs, but failing
> that a list of the top 10 / top 20 threats to coral reefs.
> There is a lot of information on the web but I am looking for something
> with a robust method - a journal article would be great, or perhaps a
> survey with a decent sample size, conducted within the last 5 years......
> Can anyone help?
> If people are interested I can post links to the reports when they are
> complete.
> Thank you in advance,
> Sarah Young (syoungresides at gmail.com)
> Future of Reefs Project
> Intro video:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8ZNSIUDwZ5Q
> --
> "Every morning I awake torn between a desire to save the world and an
> inclination to savor it. This makes it hard to plan the day." E.B.
> White
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