Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2002

Photo credit: The Ocean Agency

The 2002 report on the status of the world’s coral reefs is a mix of bad news and good news

However, there is strong evidence that the corner is being turned in our ability to stop reef decline, provided this continues to be supported by sufficient political will. We can predict gains in coral reef health at specific sites in many regions within the coming two decades. Many different projects are reducing damaging human impacts on coral reefs and also setting more reefs aside for protection. Unfortunately, a large proportion of the world’s reefs are outside of marine protected areas, and much effort will be needed to replicate the small-scale successes at national and regional scales. In addition, many countries with coral reefs do not have national conservation programs or monitoring plans and are often unaware of the extent of damage to their reefs.