Can New Research and Old Traditions Save Fiji From Ecological Collapse?
J Thoendell stashed this in Science
Coral reefs are arguably the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world, including 32 of the 33 animal phyla (according to one counting scheme), and the South Pacific holds some of the world’s last remaining coral reefs and thus some of the richest biodiversity in the world. But rising sea levels, extreme weather, ocean acidification, and overfishing are all taking a toll. In recent years, massive coral die-offs known as “bleaching events” have devastated marine ecosystems around the tropical Pacific and marine species are quickly disappearing. The species that remain are smaller and harder to find, which is bad news for Fiji, a country for which fishing and tourism are major sources of food and income. Fiji has the fastest-growing tourism industry in Oceania, which leaves its reef ecosystems especially vulnerable to the increasing activity. This has Fijians asking some of the biggest global questions in conservation today: What might we gain by trying to save “nature,” and do we have any chance of succeeding? What parts of nature should we try hardest to save, and how?
I never thought of Fiji as having to make these tradeoffs.
It make sense in the context of their fishing and tourism industries.