Conservation concepts

There is growing international awareness that cold water reefs need protecting because they are highly vulnerable environments, commonly situated in exploited areas. Conservation of cold-water coral reefs as with other marine environments is a challenging but important issue. A method for evaluating the conservation of reefs is to analyze the ecological and socio-economic benefits, either directly or indirectly gained from a reef. A recent assessment demonstrates the value of services provided by cold-water reefs and emphasizes that cold-water reefs need conserving (Foley et al., 2010) (Fig.11a).

Fig.11a. The direct and indirect values associated with cold-water coral reefs. Adapted from Foley et al., (2010)

Conservation and management efforts are hard to apply to cold-water reefs because of the remote locations and lack of information regarding cold-water reefs, but despite these matters, conservation efforts have been implemented globally since the 1990′s (Roberts et al., 2009). The most commonly used methods are outlined in Fig.11b.

Fig.11b. Factors contributing to conservation

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