The in-depth analysis reveals half of coral reefs have been lost since the 1950s.
“Coral reefs have been in decline worldwide—I think that's pretty commonly accepted,” says Tyler Eddy, a research scientist at Memorial University of Newfoundland who co-authored the study.
“We didn't necessarily know the magnitude of how much, when we looked on a global scale, that reefs had declined.”.
Coral reefs are biodiversity hotspots that provide habitat for fishes, protection for coastal communities and generate billions of dollars for fisheries and tourism.
Eddy and his colleagues also documented the impact of the loss of coral reefs on coastal indigenous communities who have close cultural relationships with the reefs.
“Coral reefs play this really important function in supplying indigenous communities and local communities vital micronutrients, and if they lost them, it could lead to severe implications.”.
“There are lots of strategies for saving coral reefs and for bringing down carbon emissions, and people often debate about what's most effective,” says Hicks. »