Coral reefs on way to recovery after tsunami

January 2nd, 2009 - 11:57 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 2 (IANS) Coral reefs are on the way to recovery in areas of Indonesia, following the tsunami that devastated coastal regions throughout the Indian Ocean on Dec 26, 2004.The New York based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) working with Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (ARCCoERS), has documented high densities of “baby corals” in areas that were severely impacted by the tsunami.

The team, which has surveyed the region’s coral reefs since the tsunami, looked at 60 sites along 800 km of coastline in Aceh, Indonesia.

The researchers attribute the recovery to natural colonisation by resilient coral species, along with the reduction of destructive fishing practices by local communities, said a WCS release.

“On the fourth anniversary of the tsunami, this is a great story of ecosystem resilience and recovery,” said Stuart Campbell, coordinator of the WCS Indonesia Marine Program.

“Our scientific monitoring is showing rapid growth of young corals in areas where the tsunami caused damage, and also the return of new generations of corals in areas previously damaged by destructive fishing. These findings provide new insights into coral recovery processes that can help us manage coral reefs in the face of climate change,” he said.

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