Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2000


Abstract: Coral reefs of the world have continued to decline since the previous GCRMN report in 1998. Assessments to late 2000 are that 27% of the world’s reefs have been effectively lost, with the largest single cause being the massive climate-related coral bleaching event of 1998. This destroyed about 16% of the coral reefs of the world in 9 months during the largest El Niño and La Niña climate changes ever recorded. While there is a good chance that many of the 16% of damaged reefs will recover slowly, probably half of these reefs will never adequately recover. These will add to the 11% of the world’s reefs already lost due to human impacts such as sediment and nutrient pollution, over-exploitation and mining of sand and rock and development on, and ‘reclamation’ of, coral reefs.

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