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Frog Fish, Great Barrier Reef

Indonesia Coral Reefs Thrive under Centuries Old System

Indonesian coral reefs are thriving under a management system designed in the 17th Century.
Turtle on the Yongala

Australia Creates World’s Largest Marine Park

Australia today announced the creation of the world's largest marine reserve, covering the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea. Oil and gas exploration...

Diving the Marine World Heritage Sites

Forty-five World Heritage Sites - places of "outstanding cultural or natural value" - are located in marine areas. And many are also fabulous diving spots. The first marine Heritage Site to be listed was the Galapagos Islands, in 1978. Next listing was Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It contains the world's largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1500 species of fish and 4000 types of mollusc. Australia has the most Marine World Heritage sites of any country: five. Ningaloo Coast was inscribed most recently in June 2011. Ningaloo, in Western Australia, is famous for its whale sharks. Also on the West coast is Shark Bay. This has three exceptional natural features: its vast sea-grass beds, which are the largest and richest in the world; its dugong (sea cow) population; and its stromatolites. Stromatolites are rock like structures built by microbes, similarly to how corals build reefs. Shark's Bay stromatolites are 2000 to 3000 years old, but stromatolites have been being built for 3.5 billion years. Shark Bay is also home to five species of endangered mammals.
White tip reef shark

Will Marine Reserve Protect Coral Sea Sharks?

Shark fishing needs to be banned at Osprey and Shark Reef in the Coral Sea for a Marine Reserve to work, concludes a study published yesterday. It is estimated that each year, live-aboard dive boats are directly responsible for generating at least AU$16 M worth of income. Of all the Coral Sea reef systems, Osprey Reef has the highest visitation rate by tourism operators, primarily to conduct shark dives. So, the depletion of reef sharks at Osprey Reef would have serious financial ramifications for the area. To put this into perspective, in the Maldives, the removal of only 20 grey reef sharks, with a market value of only AU$1 000, caused an estimated loss of AU$500 000 annually in diving revenue.

How Healthy are Mediterranean Rocky Reefs?

Intense exploitation over millennia has depleted Mediterranean Sea species from the large to the small. What would a ‘healthy’ Mediterranean rocky bottom look like? There are no pristine sites (i.e. undisturbed by humans) left in the Mediterranean against which to compare the health of current ecosystems. SCUBA divers surveyed the rocky reefs throughout the Med, from Morocco to Turkey.
Ghostpipe fish in the Philippines

Foreign Office Advises Against Travel to Southern Philippines

After the bomb attacks at on Palawan yesterday , the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office reviewed and reissued its advice on travelling to the...

Isle of Man Finally gets a Marine Nature Reserve

Ramsey Bay has been designated as the Isle of Man's first Marine Nature Reserve. The area will be protected from damaging activities, fisheries will be...

World’s Most Robust Marine Reserve is at Baja California

A thriving undersea wildlife park tucked away near the southern tip of Mexico's Baja peninsula has proven to be the most robust marine reserve...
Whale shark by Tim Nicholson

Ningaloo Reef On World Heritage List

UNESCO adds Ningaloo reef in Western Australia to its World Heritage List. One of the longest near-shore reefs in the world, Ningaloo Reef hosts annual whale shark gatherings and is home to numerous marine species including a wealth of turtles.
Coral reef

Thailand closes dive sites to save reefs

Thailand is closing 18 dive sites across seven marine national parks, including the Similan and Surin Islands. Over 80% of the coral at each site had been damaged by unusually warm sea temperatures.