Group warns of crisis in local coral reef systems

Posted: 12/30/2011 in all marine news

The China Post –

Taiwan’s marine ecosystem showed signs of crisis this year because of a notable decline in the variety of coral reef marine life, the Taiwan Environmental Information Association said yesterday.

In its annual overall review of Taiwan’s coral reefs, the association said that while most of reefs were healthy, fish and invertebrate animals that serve as indicators of the health of the ecosystem were rare.

The fish “shortage” was a warning sign of an imbalance in the coral reef ecosystem’s food chain, which could have a huge impact on tourism, fishing and the broader ecosystem, said Chen Chao-lun, acoordinator of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network’s Taiwan branch. Chen attributed the lack of critical marine life in coral reefare as to overfishing.

This year’s study showed coral reef “cover” — how much of the reef is covered with live coral — ranging from 75 percent in waters around Green Island to 14 percent in northeast Taiwan’s Bitou Cape, Chen said. Meanwhile, the association also unveiled the three presidential candidates’ responses to environmental groups’ suggestions and opinions on marine protection.

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