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World's coral reef left vulnerable by paper parks

of MPAs.

"What we found, in essence, is that we are creating paper parks," explains co-author and fellow researcher Ransom Myers of Dalhousie University. "The establishment of Marine Protected Areas is rarely followed by good management and enforcement. And while management of MPAs varies worldwide, it was particularly low in areas of high coral diversity such as the Indo-Pacific and the Caribbean."

"This new study combines a simple approach with detailed large-scale databases to provide the first such global assessment of biodiversity protection," says co-author Dr. Serge Andrfout, a scientist with the Institut de Recherche pour le Dveloppement in New Caledonia. "We lack similar global assessment for other marine habitats, including kelp forests, seagrass beds, and deep-sea corals; but we have no reason to believe these may be better protected than tropical coral reefs."

"This paper is a wake-up call," says Dr. Peter Sale at the University of Windsor, "It reminds us that despite recent successes in protecting coral reefs, our actions to date fall far short of what is required to save these most diverse of all marine habitats."


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Contact: Camilo Mora
cmora@dal.ca
902-494-3910
University of Auckland
22-Jun-2006


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