A Few Coral Reef Sites which seem to be thriving, scientists globally study the reasons. A newly published study in Nature identifies 15 places in the Pacific and Indian oceans where fish populations in coral reefs are doing better than ecological models predict they should be.
The new study found a few similarities between the 15 "bright spots," as the authors call them, among more than 2,500 reefs studied in 46 nations. Most of those similarities involve how humans manage their contact with reefs.
Communities near bright spots include local people who fish on the reef in discussions about how to manage it, according to the study. They also have enforceable plans for managing the reef, often with local fishermen acting as the enforcers of the policy. Such measures prevent overfishing more effectively than top-down policies enforced by people from outside the community.
Joshua Cinner, an ecologist at the University of Queensland in Australia who led the study, tells the Nature Podcast that "quite often the coral reef crisis is a crisis of governance."