Reef extinction warning

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Endangered coral reefs could become extinct in Fiji and the Pacific because of large scale fishing, says USP scientist James Comley.

“Unique coral reefs are found in Fiji, yet we see communities fishing in large scale and this poses a danger,” he said.

“Fishermen kill large scale of fish from habitats of marine organisms.

“Coral reefs need marine organisms such as crustaceans, algae and fish to feed them, yet these are being over exploited.”

Mr Comley said NGOs and communities need to work together to protect coral reefs.

“They should create awareness of the consequences of exploiting marine organisms,” he said.

Mr Comley said fishermen need to be aware of the variety of fish they catch and the implications of over fishing.

A seminar at USP this week will focus on marine organsms.

USP student Teddy Fong said some marine organisms were only found in coral reefs.

These include parrotfish.

“Coral reefs and parrotfish depend on marine organisms and if they are over exploited it poses a threat to our coral reef structure,” Mr Fong said.

“Based on a case study there is urgent need for marine conservation in Fiji as parrotfish is being extensively fished,” he said.