IMR Director Dr Ken Mackay
at the launch of the book
Status of Coral Reefs in the SouthWest Pacific: 2004, which has been edited by Reuben Sulu, brings together reports from Fiji, Nauru, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, prepared under the auspices of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN). It was published by the Institute of Pacific Studies Publications at USP in collaboration with the University's Institute of Marine Resources.
The book was launched by IMR director Dr Ken MacKay who pointed out that book carried important information on coral reefs in this part of the world.
"The book is based on a 2004 coral reef monitoring report results of which were condensed into a global report which came out two years ago, said Dr MacKay.
He pointed out that coral reefs played an essential role in maintaining strong and healthy ecosystems, and which also contribute to local communities by way of providing food supplies, protecting coastlines and generating tourism opportunities.
The book reports on the status of coral reefs of the region and discusses threats to the reefs, before offering suggestions and recommendations for their ongoing management. The major issues in the region were commercial exploitation of marine resources, cyclone damage and coral bleaching. In face of these threats, survey results revealed that overall coral cover has increased since the major bleaching events (2000, 2002) to almost pre-bleaching levels and recognition of commercial exploitation and other anthropogenic impacts has led to awareness programs and establishment of small Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) throughout each island country. A similar report is currently being prepared and results of the 2007 surveys will be published in 2008.
Status of Coral Reefs in the Southwest Pacific: 2004, was financially supported by the Canada-South Pacific Ocean Development Programme, with further editing funded by the Coral Reef Initiatives for the Pacific (CRISP). It is available at IPS Publications, the Institute of Marine Resources and the USP Book Centre (all at the University of the South Pacific's Laucala Campus) or online at www.ipsbooks.ac.fj (ISBN: 9789820203860, 274pp, illus. col. RRP $34).