Conservation areas fail to help coral reefs

Conservation zones designed to protect fish stocks are not preventing coral reefs from collapsing due to warmer temperatures or helping to speed their recovery, Reuters reported a study as saying.

Protection areas in the Indian Ocean did not benefit coral reefs because they were located in warmer waters and the reefs could not cope with additional temperature increases, Newcastle University marine biologist Nick Graham told Reuters.

The study, the largest of its kind, found that coral recovered more quickly in unprotected areas in southern Tanzania, Reunion Island and Mauritius than in the protected areas.

The study does not recommend discontinuing protection zones, since they help to support fish populations. However, Graham urged the creation of a more comprehensive plan that could protect the system as a whole.

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