This article reviews current scientific preferences in coral reef research to determine if information needed to solve problems associated with coral reef and reef fisheries persistence is being generated. The review finds that recommendations for reef management are limited to eliminating or reducing impacts, reducing human populations and effort, and creating no-take MPAs, and that these solutions are rarely investigated for their social tradeoffs or complexities.
The review found that most scientific efforts focus on ecological impacts of global and anthropogenic stresses (250 articles in a Scopus search) rather than problem solving or solutions to threats posed to coral reef conservation (16 journal articles in the same Scopus search replacing the word ‘impact’ with ‘solution’).
By examining the current literature for several factors including social-ecological impacts, management restrictions, values and tradeoffs, the review calls for more solution-oriented research and gives recommendations in order to generate increased engagement in problem solving impact-related scientific careers.
Author: McClanahan, T.R.
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Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 408: 3-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jembe.2011.07.021