Status of Coral reefs of the Pacific and outlook: 2011


Release Year 2011

Region Pacific

Related Key Topics Monitoring

The coral reefs of the Pacific are in better condition than those in other reef regions in the world, and remain the less stressed compared to reefs elsewhere. This is encouraging considering that recent global reports paint a gloomy picture of the status (and likely future prospects) of large areas of the world’s coral reefs. However, the longer term outlook for Pacific reefs is not encouraging with increasing human-induced threats and global climate change predicted to result in considerable damage in coming decades. This constitutes our conclusion, while many of the reefs in the Pacific appear healthy and resilient now, the outlook is poor.

Most Pacific reefs are in reasonable to good condition with either healthy or recovering coral communities and reasonably intact coral reef fish and invertebrate populations. There are large numbers of coral reefs spread over vast areas of the Pacific that are remote from human pressures; these remain among the best preserved reefs in the world. Many of these reefs grow around low lying and uninhabited atolls with few human pressures and no runoff from the land. Recently, there have been active processes to declare many of these reefs as protected areas with considerable success.