Coral reefs around the world are under threat. Increases in temperature of even as little as one or two degrees, can cause coral bleaching, or can even magnify the effects of infectious diseases, killing off huge sections of coral. Certain fishing techniques, such as the use of dynamite, are also responsible for the destruction of coral reefs. For this reason No-take areas (NTAs) were set up not only to protect the fish, but the coral reefs they inhabit. According to the latest research, however, the location of these NTAs needs to be reviewed and updated.
An international team of researchers from Australia, France, Sweden, the UK and the US were brought together to conduct one of the largest studies of its kind. Together they investigated NTAs covering 66 sites across 7 countries in the Indian Ocean. Their research was published in the journal PLoS ONE. What they discovered was that conservation zones are now located in the wrong place leaving some coral reefs vulnerable to the effects of climate change. According to lead researcher Nick Graham, from Newcastle University’s School of Marine Science and Technology, urgent action is needed. 'We need a whole new approach — and we need to act now,' he said. The research showed that all existing NTAs should remain as such; however, new zones are needed to protect other coral reefs….