Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2000

Photo credit: The Ocean Agency

Coral reefs of the world have continued to decline since the previous GCRMN report in 1998

Assessments up 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 over 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 recover to their previous state. This will add to the 11% of the world’s reefs already lost due to human impacts such as sediment and nutrient pollution, over-exploitation, mining of sand and rock and development on, and ‘reclamation’ of, coral reefs.