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Title: Reefs at risk in the Caribbean
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095886/00001
 Material Information
Title: Reefs at risk in the Caribbean
Physical Description: 80 p. : col. ill., col. maps ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Burke, Lauretta Marie
Maidens, Jonathan
Donor: unknown ( endowment ) ( endowment )
Publisher: World Resources Institute
Place of Publication: Washington D.C.
Publication Date: 2004
Copyright Date: 2004
 Subjects
Subject: Coral reefs and islands -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Endangered ecosystems -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 75-78).
Statement of Responsibility: Lauretta Burke, Jonathan Maidens ; contributing authors, Mark Spalding ... et al..
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Bibliographic ID: UF00095886
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 56935930
lccn - 2004113031
isbn - 1569735670

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Full Text





















0I P
R fRg


ir the Caribbear~19~~CJ










Reefs


the


at Risk

Caribbean


LAURETTA BURKE I JONATHAN MAIDENS





Contributing Authors:
Mark Spalding, Philip Kramer, Edmund Green,
Suzie Greenhalgh, Hillary Nobles, Johnathan Kool









WORLD
RESOURCES
INSTITUTE


WASHINGTON, DC


in















Hyacinth Billings
Publications Director





Cover Photo
French Anglefish by Wolcott Henry



Inside Front Cover Photo
Staghorn Coral by Toni Parras



Report Series Design
Lomangino Studio Inc.



Layout of Reefi at Risk in the Caribbean
Maggie Powell



No photograph in this report may be used in another work without written permission from the photographer.





Each World Resources Institute report represents a timely, scholarly treatment of a subject of public concern.
WRI takes responsibility for choosing the study topics and guaranteeing its authors and researchers freedom of inquiry.
It also solicits and responds to the guidance of advisory panels and expert reviewers. Unless otherwise stated,
however, all the interpretation and findings set forth in WRI publications are those of the authors.



Copyright 2004 World Resources Institute. All rights reserved.



ISBN 1-56973-567-0
Library of Congress Control Number: 2004113031
Printed in the United States of America on chlorine-free paper with recycled content of 50%, 30% of which is post-consumer.







Contents


FOREWORD .....................................................................................5

PREFACE .......................................................................................6

ACKNOW LEDGM ENTS ............................................ .................................. 7

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ...................................................................... .9
Purpose and Goal of Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean .............................................. 9
M ethods and Lim stations .................................................................. 10
K ey Findings ............................................................. ........... 11
Conclusions and Recommendations .......................................................... 14

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ...................................................... ............. .. 17
About the Project ...................................................................... 19

CHAPTER 2. PROJECT APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY .................................... ............... 21
Threat Analysis M ethod ................................................................... 22
Lim stations of the Analysis ................................................................. 23

CHAPTER 3. THREATS TO REEFS .....................................................................24
Coastal Developm ent ................................................................... 24
Sedimentation and Pollution from Inland Sources ..............................................27
M arine-Based Sources of Threat ............................................................. 29
Overfishing ........................................................................... 31
Climate Change ........................................................................ 33
Disease ............................................................................. 36
Integrating Threats: The Reefs at Risk Threat Index ............................................. 40

CHAPTER 4. STATUS OF CARIBBEAN CORAL REEFS .......................... ......................... 41
Baham ian ............................................................................ .42
Greater Antilles ........................................................................ 43
Eastern Caribbean ...................................................................... 45
Southern Caribbean ................................................................... 46
Southwestern Caribbean ................................................................... 48
W western Caribbean ..................................................................... .49
G ulf of M exico ........................................................................ .49
Florida ............................................................................. 50
Bermuda....................................... 51

CHAPTER 5. ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF CORAL REEF DEGRADATION ...................................... 52
Purpose and Methods for Valuing Coral Reef Resources .......................................... 52
Fisheries ...................................... ....................................... 53
Tourism and Recreation ................................................................... 54
Shoreline Protection ................................................................... 56
Other Values .......................................................................... 58
Areas for Future Research and Analysis ...................................................... .59

CHAPTER 6. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ...................................... ............. 60


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 3








APPENDIX A. PHYSICAL, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMIC STATISTICS FOR THE CARIBBEAN REGION ......................65

APPENDIX B. DATA SOURCES USED IN THE REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN THREAT ANALYSIS ..................70

APPENDIX C. INFORMATION ACTIVITIES IN THE CARIBBEAN .............................................. 72

ACRONYMS AND GLOSSARY ......................................... ................ ... .......... 74

NOTES ........................................... .............................................75

BOXES
Box 1. Caribbean Coral Reefs ............................................................ 19
Box 2. Jamaica's Reefs: Back from the Brink? ................................................ 32
Box 3. Marine Protected Areas ......................................................... 47

MAPS
M ap 1. The Caribbean Region ........................................ ......... 18
Map 2. Reefs Threatened by Coastal Development ............................................ 25
Map 3. Agricultural Lands by Slope Category ................................................ 27
Map 4. Reefs Threatened by Sedimentation and Pollution from Inland Sources ..................... .29
Map 5. Reefs Threatened by Marine-Based Sources ............................................30
M ap 6. Reefs Threatened by Overfishing ................................................... .33
M ap 7. Coral Bleaching Observations ...................................................... 35
M ap 8. Coral Disease Observations ........................................................ 37
Map 9. Integrated Threat The Reefs at Risk Threat Index ..................................... .38
M ap 10. Caribbean Sub-Regions ........................................................... 41

FIGURES
Figure 1. Number of Reported Bleaching Observations by Year ................................... .34
Figure 2. Reefs at Risk by Category of Threat ................................................ .40
Figure 3. Sub-Regions by Reefs at Risk Threat Index and Reef Area ................................ 42

TABLES
Table 1. Reefs at Risk Analysis M ethod ..................................................... .22
Table 2. Reefs Threatened by Human Activities ............................................... .39
Table 3. Estimated Economic Value of Fisheries Production in the Caribbean:
Healthy Reefs versus Reefs Degraded by 2015 ...................................... ..54
Table 4. Estimated Economic Value of Coral Reef-Related Tourism in the Caribbean ................. .56
Table 5. Range of Estimated Economic Values of Shoreline Protection Services
Provided by Healthy Coral Reefs in the Caribbean in 2000 .............................. 57
Table 6. Summary of Estimated Values of Selected Goods and Services Derived from Coral Reefs in
the Caribbean (2000) and Estimated Potential Losses Due to Coral Reef Degradation
(by2015 and2050) ............................................................58


4 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN










She Caribbean region is endowed with a wealth of coastal and marine resources, including a wonderful multitude of
unique plants and animals. Most Caribbean countries depend on the sea for the goods and services it provides. Reef
fisheries are a vital source of protein for millions of people in the region and a source of employment for hundreds
of thousands of full- and part-time fishers. Over 116 million people live within 100 km of the Caribbean coast and over 25
million tourists a year visit the Caribbean, almost all of whom spend the majority of their time in coastal areas. Tourism rev-
enue alone brings in over US$25 billion a year to the region.

There is growing concern, however, that the accelerating degradation and loss of these resources would result in significant
hardship for coastal populations, nations, and economies. This report identifies nearly two-thirds of the region's reefs to be
directly threatened by human activities, and estimates future economic losses from diminished coral reef fisheries, dive
tourism and shoreline protection services at between US$350 US$870 million per year. Coral reefs are extremely important
to the economies of Caribbean countries today, and they are the capital stock for future economic and political security.

Ensuring the vitality of coral reefs and their ability to continue providing benefits to society and economies is critically
important, but there is much we do not know about these resources. Until now, a comprehensive assessment of Caribbean
coral reefs, including their location and threats, has never been undertaken. Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean seeks to analyze the
full range of threats to these unique ecosystems as well as to orient the region's policy-makers toward potential opportunities
for capturing greater benefit from their sustainable use.

Because coral reefs do not conform to national boundaries, protecting and restoring them can only be achieved through col-
laboration among nations and organizations. In fact, this report would not have been possible without the many partners,
organizations, and individuals in the region who came together with the sole purpose of making sure that this analysis was
accurate and represented the needs and priorities of the region. We deeply appreciate their support and that of those agencies
that kindly provided funds for this analysis.

Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean is an integral part of the work of the World Resources Institute, the International Coral Reef
Action Network (ICRAN), and the UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) in the Wider Caribbean. We hope
that the report will serve as a valuable tool for governments and environmental organizations in the region to better under-
stand the growing threats affecting the marine environment of the Caribbean and to identify priorities and sites for immedi-
ate action.








JONATHAN LASH KRISTIAN TELEKI NELSON AWDRADE
President Executive Director Coordinator
World Resources Institute International Coral Reef UNEP Caribbean Environment
Action Network Programme


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 5











ince the age of seven, when my father threw me overboard, I have been observing coral reefs through a dive mask. I
have marveled at the beauty, biological diversity, and productivity of coral reefs and have seen how important they
are to the local people who depend on them for food, income, recreation, and spiritual enrichment. I have also seen
how human activity has undermined the health and vitality of reefs. The coral reefs I observed in the 1940s are totally differ-
ent today. Sadly, none has changed for the better.


When I think of coral reef ecology, the concepts of con-
nection and interdependence come to mind. Corals have
their symbiotic algal partners, while "cleaner fish" have
their clients. Landscape management relates directly to
sediment and nutrient delivery and to reef health, while
energy use and carbon dioxide emissions link to global
warming and coral bleaching. The historical over-har-
vesting of large animals has impaired reef vitality. Public
awareness is essential for sustainable reef management. E
These are just some of the examples that underscore the
vital connections in time and space that affect coral reefs.
The tragic decline in reef health is due to human insult,
and their restoration likewise depends on human action.


I am pleased to see that Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean addresses these connections and calls attention to the importance of
people in the equation of reef health and restoration. The involvement of multiple partner organizations ensures that this
report reflects the many facets of reef assessment and management, and will be widely used. Predictably, I totally concur with
the need for greater public awareness. It is my view that without public support, rational and sustainable management will
not occur. I am often told that our television shows were instrumental in inspiring many of our present ocean experts to pur-
sue a career in ocean sciences. Of course, awareness is not action. Reefi at Risk in the Caribbean clearly outlines the critical
steps required for building capacity and improving management. The focus on socioeconomic issues is crucial to ensuring
that future generations will continue to benefit from coral reefs.


Ultimately, our challenge is not to manage reefs: it is to manage ourselves. I applaud the World Resources Institute for its
admirable work to protect coral reefs, a priceless natural treasure.





JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU I Ocean Futures Society


6 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN







Aknowlegment


The Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean project would not have
been possible without the encouragement and financial sup-
port provided by the United Nations Foundation, the U.S.
Agency for International Development, the United Nations
Environment Programme Caribbean Environment
Programme, the U.S. National Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Administration, the Swedish International
Development Cooperation Agency, the Netherlands
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Curtis and Edith Munson
Foundation, the Henry Foundation, the World Bank / GEF
Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Project, the National
Center for Caribbean Coral Reef Research, the Nature
Conservancy, Environmental Defense, and the World Fish
Center. The Reefs at Risk project is part of the International
Coral Reef Action Network, a collaboration developed to
reverse the decline of the world's coral reefs. (See inside
back cover.)
The World Resources Institute gratefully acknowledges
the many partners and colleagues who contributed to this
project. (See inside front cover for full institutional names.)
We thank Philip Kramer (TNC) and Robert Ginsburg
(AGRRA) for the provision of AGRRA data and guidance
with the threat analysis; Mark Spalding (University of
Cambridge) for sharing his knowledge of Caribbean coral
reefs; Hillary Nobles (IRF) for compiling information on
coral reef condition; Serge Andr6fouet (Institut de
Recherche pour le Developpement) and Christine
Kranenburg (USF) for coral reef maps; Jennifer Gebelein
(FIU), Steve Rohmann and Aurelie Shapiro (NOAA) for
land cover classifications; Ed Green, Corinna Ravilious,
Emily Corcoran, Michelle Taylor, and Ed McManus
(UNEP-WCMC) for providing maps of coral reefs and
marine protected areas; Al Strong, William Skirving, Scott
Baron and Andrew Barton (NOAA) for information on
warming seas; Melanie McField (WWF) for reviewing the
watershed model; Johnathan Kool (NCORE), Steven
Menard, and Janet Nackoney (WRI) for support on GIS;
John McManus, Cara Dickman, and NCORE staff,
Marilyn Brandt, Wade Cooper, and Aletta Yniguez for
organizing the project workshop; Ian Gillett (Belize Coastal


Zone Management Institute), Julie Robinson (NASA), and
Kathleen Sullivan Seeley (UM) for satellite images and coral
reef maps; Bruce Potter (IRF) for sharing information
throughout the Caribbean community; Rich lovanna (U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency) for assisting with valida-
tion of the threat model; Mahfuz Ahmed and Chiew Kieok
Chong (World Fish), Suzanne Garrett (UM), Bob
Leeworthy (NOAA), Suzie Greenhalgh and Siet Meijer
(WRI), and Herman Cesar (Cesar Environmental
Economics Consulting) for data, ideas, guidance, and
review of the economic valuation; Dulce Linton and George
Warner (UWI) for coral data and expert review; Clive
Wilkinson (GCRMN) for providing links to the network;
Uwe Deichmann (World Bank) for plume module imple-
mentation; Gregor Hodgson and Craig Shuman (Reef
Check) for their data; Alessandra Vanzella-Khouri, Luc St-
Pierre, Malden Miller, Nelson Andrade (UNEP-CEP), and
Kristian Teleki and Alison Glass (ICRAN) for their guid-
ance and support; and Barbara Best, Laura Cornwell
(USAID), and Angel Braestrup (Munson Foundation) for
their steadfast encouragement.
In addition to many of those already mentioned, the
following people provided valuable input through participa-
tion in the Reefs at Risk threat analysis workshop (October
2002 in Miami): Oscar Alvarez (ICRAN-MAR Project),
Billy Causey (Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary),
Richard Curry (Biscayne National Park), Jaime Garzon-
Ferreira (Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras),
Hector Guzmann (Smithsonian Tropical Research
Institute), Milton Haughton (CARICOM Fisheries Unit),
Noel Jacobs (MBRS), Michelle Libby (TNC), Brian
Luckhurst (Bermuda Fisheries), Liana McManus (RSMAS),
Peter Murray (OECS Natural Resources Management
Unit), Jamie Oliver (World Fish), Hazel Oxenford (UWI),
Caroline Rogers (USGS), Luc St. Pierre (UNEP/CEP),
Elizabeth Taylor (CORALINA), and Ernesto Weil
(University of Puerto Rico).
Many people provided input on the analysis of over-
fishing including: Richard Appledorn (University of Puerto
Rico), Julio Baisre (Ministry of the Fishing Industry of


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN








Cuba), Daniel Matos-Caraballo (Fisheries Research
Laboratory, Puerto Rico DNER), Bob Glazer (Florida Fish
& Wildlife Conservation Commission), Paul Hoetjes
(Dept. of Public Health and Environment, Netherlands
Antilles), Barbara Kojis (Division of Fish and Wildlife,
USVI DPNR), Craig Lilyestrom (Marine Resources
Division, Puerto Rico DNER), Ken Lindeman (ED), Robin
Mahon (Independent), John Munro (World Fish), Richard
Nemeth (University of the Virgin Islands), Christy
Pattengill-Semmens (REEF), Juan Posada (Universidad
Sim6n Bolivar), Lionel Reynal (Institut Frangais de
Recherche pour 1'Exploitation de la Mer), and Mike Smith
(Conservation International).
Invaluable assistance with data and review of informa-
tion on marine protected areas was provided by Carola
Borja (Conservation International), Julia Brownlee
(NOAA), Phillippe Bush (Dept. of Environment, Cayman
Islands), Reinaldo Estrada (Centro Nacional de Areas
Protegidas, Cuba), Jose L. Gerhartz (UWI Center for
Environment and Development), Mike Mascia (USEPA),
Jeannette Mateo (TNC), Kalli de Meyer (Coral Resource
Management), and Kim Thurlow (TNC).
We would like to thank the following formal reviewers
of the report who provided valuable comments on the man-
uscript and maps: Jorge Cortes (Universidad de Costa Rica),
George Warner (UWI), Herman Cesar (Cesar Environmen-
tal Economics Consulting), Georgina Bustamante
(Independent), Kristian Teleki (ICRAN), John McManus
(NCORE), and Philip Kramer (TNC). Internal reviewers
from WRI include Marta Miranda, Yumiko Kura, Suzie
Greenhalgh, Jonathan Pershing, Steve Cox, and AnnMarie
DeRose. Special thanks to Dan Tunstall and David Jhirad
for their many reviews of the draft and steady encourage-
ment, and to Gayle Coolidge for her skillful management of
the review process.
The following people reviewed specific parts of the text,
provided data or general support: Richard Murphy (Ocean
Futures Society); Bente Christensen (InterAmerican
Development Bank); Pedro Alcolado (Institute of
Oceanology, Cuba); Arthur Paterson, Roger Griffis, and


Andy Bruckner (NOAA); Marea Hatziolos (World Bank);
Daniel Prager (WRI); Marc Rammelare (National
Environment and Planning Agency, Jamaica); Mercedes
Silva (Caribbean Tourism Organization); Toby Gardner
(University of East Anglia); Gillian Cambers (University of
Puerto Rico); Steve Schill, Annette Huggins, and Tony
Chatwin (TNC); Douglas Beard and Dan Phillips (USGS);
Dan Zimble (ESRI); Ken Kassem (Independent); Anita
Daley (Independent); Tom Laughlin, Nancy Daves, and
Elizabeth McLanahan (NOAA); and Dick Wilbur
(Department of State).
Many other staff at WRI contributed to this project
through publication, financial management, and outreach
assistance including Adlai Amor, Beth Bahs-Ahern,
Hyacinth Billings, Peter Denton, Chris Elias, Paul Mackie,
Greg Mock, Georgia Moyka, and Elsie V6lez-Whited.
Special thanks to Camila Bonifaz for cheerful support
throughout the project.
The report was edited by Kathleen Lynch and Karen
Holmes. Many thanks for the valuable proofreading by Jo
Tunstall and Elizabeth Selig. The report was embellished
through the layout by Maggie Powell and the beautiful pho-
tographs provided by Wolcott Henry, Toni Parras, Krishna
Desai, Mark Spalding, Andy Bruckner, and Ed Green.


LB / JM


8 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN






Exctv gSumar


C oral reefs are an integral part of the Caribbean fabric,
threading along thousands of kilometers of coastline.
Teeming with fish and invertebrate life, these ecosystems
provide food for millions of people. Buffering shorelines,
they protect the land from the worst ravages of storms.
Coral reefs form the foundation of the thriving Caribbean
tourism industry, the region's most important economic sec-
tor. The reefs supply much of the sand for the region's beau-
tiful beaches and lure divers and snorkelers from far and
wide to come and explore the reefs' colorful and mysterious
depths. The dazzling array of species living on coral reefs
has also attracted the attention of the pharmaceutical indus-
try as a potential source of new drugs and life-saving med-
ical treatments.
Unfortunately, these valuable ecosystems are degrading
rapidly under the mounting pressure of many human activi-
ties. Coastal development, land clearance, and intensive agri-
culture all contribute damaging sediment and pollution to
coastal waters, while overfishing is changing the ecological
balance of coral reef environments. In addition, rising sea
temperatures have prompted dramatic "coral bleaching"
events in recent years, weakening and killing corals in many
areas. At the same time, poorly understood coral diseases have
spread rapidly across the region, devastating some of the main
reef-building corals. Coral reef degradation and mortality will
significantly impact the region's economy through reduced
habitat for fish and shellfish, diminished appeal for tourists,
and a lessened capacity to protect the shoreline.
Understanding the nature and extent of these threats
and their likely economic impacts on the future productiv-
ity of Caribbean coral reefs as sources of food, recreation,
employment, and biopharmaceuticals is of central impor-
tance to conservation and planning efforts. Numerous stud-
ies are underway to monitor and assess reef conditions at
particular locations in the Caribbean, but data gaps persist
and, for the majority of reefs, little information is available.
Many such efforts fail to combine ecosystem studies with
monitoring of socioeconomic and environmental condi-
tions, making it difficult to link changes in coral condition
to specific causes.


PURPOSE AND GOAL OF REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN
The Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean project was launched to
help protect and restore these valuable, threatened ecosys-
tems by providing decision-makers and the public with
information and tools to manage coastal habitats more
effectively. The project focuses on compiling, integrating,
and disseminating critical information on these precious
resources for the entire Caribbean region. This information
is intended both to raise awareness about the threats to and
value of Caribbean reefs and to encourage greater protection
and restoration efforts.
Conducted by the World Resources Institute in cooper-
ation with over 20 organizations working in the region, the
project represents a unique, region-wide look at the threats
facing Caribbean coral reefs. The collaborative process of
data gathering and analysis has produced the first regionally
consistent, detailed mapping of these threats. The project
provides decision-makers and the public with important
insights on links between human activities that stress and
damage reef organisms and where degradation of reefs could
be expected to occur, or may have already occurred. The
maps created by the Reefs at Risk project will assist regional
and national organizations in setting priorities for conserva-
tion and natural resource management. The analytical tools
and threat indicators will also allow managers to assess, for
the first time, the source and scale of threats affecting those
many reef areas for which more detailed monitoring infor-
mation is unavailable.


I Coral reefs a dazzling array of life.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 9










METHODS AND LIMITATIONS
Reefs at Risk project collaborators worked to gather and
compile data from many sources on Caribbean coral
reefs, their condition, the surrounding physical environ-
ment, and the social and economic factors associated
with human pressure on reef ecosystems. These data were
consolidated within a geographic information system
(GIS) that includes information on coral reef locations,
pressures (i.e., pollution and other observed threats and
physical impacts), changes in reef condition, and infor-
mation on management of reef resources.
Using these data, the project team developed region-
ally consistent indicators of coral reef condition and
threats in four broad categories representing the key
stresses to reefs in the Caribbean: coastal development
(i.e., pressures from sewage discharge, urban runoff, con-
struction, and tourism development), watershed-based
sediment and pollution (i.e., pressures related to soil ero-
sion and runoff of fertilizers and pesticides from farm-
lands), marine-based pollution and damage (i.e., pres-
sures from shipping and boating, including dumping of
garbage, oil spills, discharge of ballast, and physical dam-
age caused by groundings and anchors), and overfishing
(i.e., pressure from unsustainable levels of fishing). The
reef area considered by this analysis totaled 26,000 square
kilometers (sq km), which was divided into 25-hectare
units (500 m on a side). For ease of interpretation, each
coral reef unit was rated at low, medium, or high threat
for each of the four individual threat categories. In
medium-threat areas, pressure on reefs is considered suffi-
ciently high to result in degradation within the next 5 to
10 years. In high-threat areas, degradation is likely to
occur sooner and potentially be more severe. Substantial
input from scientists across the region guided the selec-
tion of thresholds for categorizing a given threat level as
low, medium, or high. These threat indicators were fur-
ther calibrated against available data on observed impacts
on coral reefs.


The four indicators were then combined into a sin-
gle, integrated index of overall human pressure on
Caribbean reefs. This integrated Reefs at Risk Threat
Index reflects the highest threat level (i.e., low, medium,
or high) achieved by any of the four individual threats in
a given 25-hectare reef unit. To capture the impact of
cumulative threats in a single location, units in which
three or four of the individual threats were rated as high
were categorized as very high in the integrated Reefs at
Risk Threat Index. Similarly, for units in which at least
three threats were rated as medium, the integrated index
was rated as high.
The geographic data sets and threat indicators assem-
bled under this project have also been used in an eco-
nomic valuation of some of the key goods and services
related to coral reefs (fisheries, tourism, and shoreline
protection) and the losses that are likely to result from
degradation across the Caribbean.
The analysis carried out by the Reefs at Risk project
relies on available data and predicted relationships but,
like other analytical models, presents a simplified picture
of human activities and complex natural processes. The
model does not capture all pressures on coral reefs, owing
both to limitations of the model and inaccuracies in the
geographic data sets used. In addition, two major, region-
wide threats to Caribbean coral reefs are not incorporated
into the Reefs at Risk analysis: coral diseases and coral
bleaching. Because of scientific uncertainty as well as lack
of spatial detail in the relevant data sets, it is not cur-
rently possible to produce accurate models of the present
and future distribution of threats from diseases and
bleaching. Existing information, however, suggests that
the threats are widespread, potentially affecting coral reefs
across the region.


Data sources used in the analysis are listed in
Appendix B. Details of the analysis method are
available online at

http://reefsatrisk.wri.org


10 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN









KEY FINDINGS
* The Reefs at Risk Threat Index indicates that nearly
two-thirds of coral reefs in the Caribbean are threat-
ened by human activities. Integrating threat levels from
all sources considered in this analysis (coastal develop-
ment, watershed-based sediment and pollution, marine-
based threats, and overfishing), the Reefs at Risk Threat
Index identified about one-tenth of Caribbean coral reefs
at very high levels of threat, one-third at high threat, one-
fifth at medium threat, and one-third at low threat. Areas
with high threat levels include the Eastern Caribbean,
most of the Southern Caribbean, Greater Antilles, Florida
Keys, Yucatan, and the nearshore portions of the Western
and Southwestern Caribbean. In these areas, degradation
of coral-including reduced live coral cover, increased
algal cover, or reduced species diversity-has already
occurred or is likely to occur within the next 5 to 10


years. Extensive tracts of reef in the Bahamas, Turks and
Caicos Islands, archipelagos off Colombia and Nicaragua,
and some reefs off Belize, Cuba, and Mexico were rated as
subject to low threats from human activities.


* An estimated one-third of Caribbean coral reefs are
threatened by coastal development. Our indicator of
coastal development threat identified about one-third of
the region's reefs as threatened by pressures associated
with coastal development, including sewage discharge,
urban runoff, construction, and tourist development.
Slightly over 15 percent were rated at high threat and a
similar percentage at medium threat. Coastal develop-
ment pressures were significant along the coastlines of
most of the Greater Antilles, Eastern Caribbean, the Bay
Islands in Honduras, along parts of the Florida Keys, the
Yucatan, and the Southern Caribbean.


S TD BY H N A


United Stares


mud
Bermuda


Sf X I (CO


1,


Bahamas


S.


7m n Turks and
Caicos Islands
*d? %


*- f .*- .. ,
SGuatemala M "\
%, l Honduras F .. '
Nicaragua

\^ Nicaragua C 5 1
J a


Estimated threat level
* Low
4 Medium
* High
* Very high


o 1W 2W Wm
0 10i 200 Kilmetrs
, Iiiiii


Jamaica *


CA R I B3'AN V I A


' *- (Colombiam "
L'\-


ATLA N TIC
OCEAN





aminican


uela
. ^ ..- --

---^ o
;uea ^^"


r- /


Venez


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 11


-t


?_ j


i


Cman
Islands *


* '- - -









B G L I


Gulf ofMexico

.1

"J~ Eastern\
,Wr~.~n (,rcacr~n~k~ Cnbe-An,


Southrn
Sothwestr QribbeAn
S Caribbean -
T,
Ic~Li


* Sediment and pollution from inland sources threaten
about one-third of Caribbean coral reefs. Analysis of
more than 3,000 watersheds across the region identified
20 percent of coral reefs at high threat and about 15 per-
cent at medium threat from damage caused by increased
sediment and pollution from agricultural lands and other
land modification. Erosion of agricultural soils, particu-
larly on steep slopes, can produce sediments that block
light needed for photosynthesis and eventually smother
coral reefs, while pollution from agricultural chemicals
such as fertilizers and pesticides can impede coral growth
or kill coral. Areas with a large proportion of reefs threat-
ened by watershed-based sediments and pollution were
found off Jamaica, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, the high
islands of the Eastern Caribbean, Belize, Costa Rica, and
Panama.


* Marine-based threats to coral reefs are widespread
across the Caribbean. Our indicator of marine-based
damage and pollution identified about 15 percent of
Caribbean reefs as threatened by discharge of wastewater
from cruise ships, tankers and yachts, leaks or spills from
oil infrastructure, and damage from ship groundings and
anchors. Threat was relatively high in many of the
Eastern Caribbean islands, Bermuda, Puerto Rico,
Jamaica, Panama, Aruba, and the Netherlands Antilles.


* Overfishing threatens over 60 percent of Caribbean
coral reefs. Fishing above sustainable levels affects coral
reefs by altering the ecological balance of the reef. The
removal of herbivorous fish, which consume algae, facili-
tates algal overgrowth of corals. Declines in coral cover
and increases in algal cover have been observed across the
region. This analysis identified about one-third of
Caribbean reefs at high threat from overfishing pressure
and about 30 percent at medium threat. The threat was
rated as high on almost all narrow coastal shelves close to
human population centers. Fishing pressure was lower in
the Bahamas, where the human population is small, and
in the Western and Southwestern Caribbean and Cuba,
where many reefs are far from the mainland.




R S AT RS B I T


LOW
2 MEDIUM
R HIGH
o 0 I VERY HIGH


12 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


Bahamian
Great r Anti lles
Eastern Caribbean
Southern Caribbean 0
western Caribbean
Western Caribbean
Gulf of Mexico i
Florda Total ree area approx. 26,000 km2
Bermuda
0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,
REEF AREA (sq km)
VERY HIGH HIGH MEDIUM LOW









MAAEMNEFCIVNS OF MAI N PRTCE


Management Effectiveness of Caribbean MPAs




Inadequate 48%

Partal 13%





U. i -

Number of MPAs in the region is
approximately285.



Protection of the Caribbean's Coral Reefs


Reefs in MPAs rated as good, 1%
Reefs in MPAs rated
Reefs outside of as partially effective, 3%
MPAs, 80%
Reefs n MPAs rated as
inadequate, 9%

SReefs in MPAs under an unknowr
evel of management, 7%



Area of reefs in the region is
approximately 26,000 sq km.


* Diseases and rising sea temperatures threaten to dam-
age coral reefs across the Caribbean region. Although
not quantitatively assessed in this project, diseases and
warming sea surface temperatures present further, and
growing, region-wide threats to Caribbean coral reefs.
Diseases have caused profound changes in Caribbean
coral reefs in the past 30 years, with very few areas
unscathed by disease, even reefs far removed from
human influence. One of the region's major reef-building
corals has already been devastated by disease. In addition,
coral bleaching episodes-the most direct evidence of
stress from global climate change on Caribbean marine
biodiversity-are on the rise. The complex, synergistic


interactions between disease, climatic change, and other
human-induced stresses may heighten the overall level of
threat described above.


* Ineffective management of protected areas further
threatens Caribbean coral reefs. With the growth of
tourism, fisheries, and other development in coral reef
areas, marine protected areas (MPAs) are an important
tool for safeguarding coral reefs. At present, over 285
MPAs have been declared across the Caribbean, but the
level of protection afforded by MPAs varies considerably.
The Reefs at Risk Project found only 6 percent of MPAs
to be rated as effectively managed and 13 percent as hav-
ing partially effective management. An estimated 20 per-
cent of coral reefs are located inside MPAs, but only 4
percent are located in MPAs rated as effectively man-
aged. MPAs are but one tool available to reduce stress on
coastal resources, but are by no means a shelter from all
threats. This analysis of MPAs as a management tool is
an indicator of the inadequacy of current efforts to man-
age coastal resources and protect coral reefs.


The diver entry fee at Bonaire Marine Park helps to support one of the
best managed MPAs in the region.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 13








* The coastal communities and national economies of
the Caribbean region are poised to sustain substantial
economic losses if current trends in coral reef degra-
dation continue. Coral reefs provide valuable goods and
services to support local and national economies, and
degradation of coral reefs can lead to significant eco-
nomic losses, particularly in the coastal areas of develop-
ing countries, through loss of fishing livelihoods, malnu-
trition due to lack of protein, loss of tourism revenues,
and increased coastal erosion. Analyses carried out by the
Reefs at Risk project indicate that Caribbean coral reefs
provide goods and services with an annual net economic
value in 2000 estimated at between US$3.1 billion and
US$4.6 billion from fisheries, dive tourism, and shore-
line protection services.


o Coral reef-associated fisheries in the Caribbean region
provide net annual revenues valued at an estimated
US$310 million. Degradation of the region's coral reefi
could reduce these net annual revenues by an estimated
US$95 million to US$140 million per year by 2015.


o Net benefits from dive tourism total an estimated
US$2.1 billion per year in 2000. Dive tourism is high-
value tourism, with divers typically spending 60-80
percent more than other tourists. By 2015, coral reef
degradation could result in annual losses of US$100 mil-
lion to US$300 million to the Caribbean tourism indus-
try. Losses to particular areas within the Caribbean
could be proportionately greater, as tourism shifts
away from areas where coral reefs have become
degraded and toward areas of remaining intact reefs.


o Coral reefs protect coastal shorelines by dissipating
wave and storm energy. The estimated value of shore-
line protection services provided by Caribbean reefs is
between US$700 million and US$2.2 billion per year.
Within the next 50 years, coral degradation and death
could lead to losses totaling US$140 million to US$420
million annually.


CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The coral reefs of the Caribbean, a mainstay of the region's
economic and social health, are beset by a wide range of
threats resulting from human activities. Degradation of
coral reefs damages not only the integrity of these impor-
tant ecosystems but also the health, safety, and livelihoods
of the human societies that depend on them. Although the
potential human and economic losses are great, actions to
reverse the threats to Caribbean coral reefs can often be
undertaken at very low cost, with very high financial and
societal returns, even in the short term.
Actions are required across a range of scales-from
local to national and international. Such actions include the
establishment of better management practices to encourage
sustainable fisheries, to protect reefs from direct damage,
and to integrate the sometimes conflicting approaches to
management in the watersheds and adjacent waters around
coral reefs. Fundamental to supporting these actions is
wider involvement of the public and stakeholders in the
management process, as well as an improved level of under-
standing of the importance of coral reefs. Better under-
standing of the economic value of coastal ecosystems and of
the linkages between human activities and changes in coral
reef condition will further support and underpin the neces-
sary changes in management and will strengthen political
and societal support for these changes.
To these ends, we recommend the following specific
actions:

Create the Will for Change

* Raise awareness of the importance, value, and
fragility of coral reefs through targeted education
campaigns. Many residents and visitors to the
Caribbean fail to realize and understand the connections
between their own activities and the health of coral reefs.
Educators, universities, nongovernmental organizations
(NGOs), and others should help change behavior and
build political will for policy change by developing and
disseminating educational materials aimed at key audi-
ences, such as community groups, fishers, workers in the
tourist industry, tourists, developers, politicians, and stu-
dents.


14 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN








m Factor the economic value of coral reef goods and
services into development planning, policies, and
projects. Incorporating information on the economic
value of the goods and services provided by coral reefs can
help bolster arguments for strengthening and expanding
reef protection and management programs. Researchers
should undertake additional, regionally consistent eco-
nomic valuation studies of Caribbean coral reefs, and
decision-makers should use the results of these studies to
debate the true costs of development options and select
development that minimizes damage to reef ecosystems.



Build Capacity for Change

m Develop local and national expertise for better man-
agement of coral reef ecosystems through training of
resource managers and decision-makers. Financial
resources, educational levels, and availability of training
vary widely across the region, and the small size of many
countries undermines their ability to sustain full scien-
tific and administrative capacities. National governments,
international organizations, NGOs, and others should
support and implement expanded provision of training
to coastal resource managers and decision-makers across
the region.


Sharing ideas, knowledge, and success stories is fundamental to develop-
ing management capacity.

* Encourage free flow and exchange of information and
experience about management and protection of coral
reef resources. Across the Caribbean, there are examples
of excellence in management, training programs, govern-


ment and community involvement, research, and moni-
toring. International NGOs and intergovernmental agen-
cies should facilitate increased sharing of information and
expertise among countries, among government agencies,
and among scientists and management agencies.


* Facilitate stakeholder participation in decision-mak-
ing about management and protection of coral reef
resources. The absence of community inclusion and
participation has played a key role in the failure of many
reef management efforts. National governments and
resource managers need to apply collaborative and coop-
erative approaches to coral reef management, making
sure to involve all stakeholder groups.


* Create the systems of governance required for effec-
tive management of coral reefs. In many cases, the
activities of different groups, agencies, or even interna-
tional bodies concerned with management of marine
resources overlap and even conflict. National govern-
ments can facilitate good governance of the coastal zone
by carrying out national assessments of the institutional
and legal framework for executing policy and updating
institutional and legal frameworks where necessary.


* Integrate socioeconomic and environmental monitor-
ing to increase understanding of coastal habitats.
Good management requires continued access to informa-
tion about natural resources and how they change over
time and in response to natural and human influences.
The scientific community and resource managers should
move toward monitoring programs that integrate
human, physical, and ecological data.


* Use the Reefs at Risk indicators and apply the analyt-
ical methodology at finer resolutions to support deci-
sion-making on coral reef management. The analysis
and tools developed under this project provide a valuable
and low-cost means of understanding potential pressures
on coral reefs. National, provincial, and local resource
agencies should contribute to the development of similar


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 15








indicators at a finer scale to help increase confidence in
and support for wise management decisions.



Improve Management
* Develop sustainable fisheries through education,
stakeholder involvement, and reduced intensity of
fishing practices. Fishing is exceeding sustainable levels
in most Caribbean countries. National governments
should work with resource users and other stakeholder
groups to implement sustainable fishing policies and
practices. Licensing, incentives for sustainable practices,
and penalties for illegal fishing can help reduce the
intensity of fishing practices. The establishment of "no
take areas" or "marine fishery reserves" can be adopted,
in part, as a strategy to replenish depleted fish stocks.
Critical to the success of such reserves will be involving
and educating stakeholders and providing alternative
income generation.


* Apply holistic approaches to coastal zone manage-
ment. Successful management of coral reef ecosystems
entails dealing effectively with multiple influences and
threats, many of which can be traced to activities taking
place at considerable distances from the reefs themselves.
National governments need to provide incentives for
agencies with disparate mandates and conflicting agendas
to share information and work together effectively.


* Expand Marine Protected Areas and improve their
management effectiveness in safeguarding coral reef
ecosystems. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an
important component of comprehensive coastal-area
management; however, only a small percentage of coral
reefs are located within designated MPAs and only a
small percentage of MPAs are rated as fully or partially
effective. National governments, donors, NGOs, and the
private sector need to support expansion of MPAs to
cover additional coral reefs and to provide assistance to
strengthen the management effectiveness of many exist-
ing MPAs.


* Develop tourism sustainably to ensure long-term
benefits. Tourism is vital to the Caribbean region, but
unplanned, unrestricted development can severely dam-
age coral reefs. Decision-makers should take steps to
limit such damage, including education of tourists and
development of certification schemes, accreditation, and
awards for good environmental practices as incentives for
environmentally sensible development.


* Implement good marine practices to restrict dumping
of waste at sea and the clearing of ballast waters.
Regional bodies, national governments, NGOs, and the
private sector should work together to develop best prac-
tices (for example, in the cruise industry). Ports, harbors,
and marinas need to offer pump-out and waste treatment
facilities for vessels of all sizes.


International Action

* Ratify and implement international agreements.
International agreements are an important tool for set-
ting targets and achieving collective goals. National gov-
ernments should not only sign but also implement
important international agreements addressing the
threats evaluated in this study, including the Cartagena
Convention (addressing land-based sources of pollution,
oil spills, and protected areas and wildlife), the United
Nations (UN) Convention on the Law of the Sea (on
ocean governance), MARPOL (on marine pollution),
and the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change.


* Promote international cooperation and exchange.
Even in the absence of international legal instruments,
regional collaboration on issues such as fisheries and
watershed management could greatly reduce some
threats. International NGOs, intergovernmental agen-
cies, and funding organizations can actively support
cooperation and exchange to promote synergy and foster
partnerships to protect Caribbean coral reefs.


16 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


































he Wider Caribbean (hereafter called the Caribbean)
is a large marine realm encompassing the Caribbean
Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and part of the northwestern
Atlantic Ocean extending out to the tiny island of
Bermuda. (See Map 1.) Richly endowed with biological
treasures, it is also a region of tremendous cultural and
political diversity shaped by a vivid history. The wide
coastal shelves and warm tropical waters create ideal condi-
tions for the formation of an estimated 26,000 square kilo-
meters (sq km) of coral reefs.' Separated from other coral
reefs, these have evolved in isolation, and remarkably few of
the many thousands of species in these waters are found
anywhere else in the world.2
More than 116 million people live within 100 km of
the Caribbean coast (see Appendix A, Table A3), and many
livelihoods depend strongly on the marine environment.
Coral reefs contribute significantly to nutrition and employ-
ment, particularly in rural areas and among island commu-
nities, where there may be few employment alternatives. The
reefs are also a major draw for tourists to the region. Coral
reefs provide shoreline protection, notably during storms and
hurricanes, and generate white sand for many beaches. The
biodiversity of coral reef ecosystems has enormous value as a
provider of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals.


Despite their value, coral reefs in the Caribbean are
under threat.3 Growing coastal populations and rising
tourist numbers exert increasing pressure. Land-based activi-
ties, including construction, deforestation, and poor agricul-
tural practices, are depositing an increasing load of sediment
and nutrients in coastal waters, smothering some corals and
contributing to overgrowth by algae. Current levels of fish-
ing pressure are unsustainable in most areas and have
already led to species loss and the collapse and closure of
fisheries in some countries.4 Increasing pressures are under-
mining the resilience of reefs to threats from global climate
change.5 In addition, extensive areas of corals have suc-
cumbed to diseases in recent years. The origins of these dis-
eases remain poorly understood, but corals across the region
are susceptible.6
Understanding the effects of human activities on spe-
cific reefs, including the economic consequences of these
disturbances, is key to future conservation and planning
efforts. Within the region numerous studies are underway
to assess and monitor particular coral reefs (see Appendix C
for details). In a few places, such as Jamaica and the Florida
Keys, changes in coral condition are well documented, but
in most other places, the availability of detailed information
is limited, inhibiting effective management.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 17













UNITED STATES

. Z ,*,_


j.



S MEXIC~o \
... .1 ? < ...


*-,_ \ N D- R ..

f HOND ITRNfi

Fl "U\ N j1)4f N
S' NTCARAaIJA
N,. ...


Bermuda
(U.K.)


S ji-^ / Mn, r'S.k BIim -n

l L AMGA -




'A

DOTt A T


.I I N

--I- \ 4,,GRE A
|BAIMAQ/!


The Caribbean region, as defined by this analysis, encompasses 35
countries and territories bordering the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean
Sea,' including the oceanic island of Bermuda (see Map 1). Politically,
and socioeconomically, these countries are highly diverse, from the
world's richest nation to some of the poorest; from long-established
democracies to totalitarian systems; and from industrialized countries
with intensive agricultural systems to countries with little industry and
largely natural landscapes.
The nearly 7.8 million sq km of land that drains into the Caribbean b
stretches from the Upper Mississippi Basin in southern Canada to the
Orinoco Basin of Colombia and Venezuela. The total population within
this drainage area was estimated at 290 million in 2000, of whom
some 41 million people lived within 10 km of the coastline Average
population density within this coastal strip increased by 14 percent
between 1990 and 2000. (See AppendixA, Tables A2 andA3 for
detailed physical and population statistics.)
Over the last three decades, tourism has surpassed fishing as the
most important economic activity for many coastal localities. In 2000,
more than 40 million people visited the region (excluding the United
States), generating over US$25 billion in revenue.' Between 1990 and
2000, tourist (stay-over) arrivals grew at an average annual rate
of 4.7 percent. Cruise-based tourism grew even faster, at an average


of 6.5 percent per annum between 1990 and 2000.1 (See AppendixA,
Table A4, for detailed economic statistics.)

Notes:
a. Within the Caribbean region, there are 35 distinct political units, includ-
ing 24 sovereign nations (14 island nations and 10 continental), five
overseas territories of the United Kingdom, two overseas departments of
France, two self-governing units of the Netherlands, one territory of the
United States, and the U.S.-associated commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
b. Caribbean drainage area was calculated at WRI using watersheds devel-
oped from USGS HYDRO1K and NASA SRTM elevation data.
c. Population in Caribbean drainage areas was calculated at WRI using pop-
ulation data from the Center for International Earth Science Information
Network (CIESIN), Gridded Population of the World, Version 3 (Palisades,
NY: CIESIN, Columbia University, 2003).
d. Caribbean coastline is based on World Vector Shoreline. For continental
countries, Pacific coastlines were excluded. Population data are from
CIESIN (2003).
e. See Appendix A, Table A4.
f. CTO (2002), p. 21.
g. Ibid, p. 21.

Map Sources:
Maritime boundaries: Derived at WRI using data from the Global Maritime
Boundaries Database (Veridian MRJ Technology Solutions, 2002). Reef
locations: See Appendix B. Bathymetry: Developed at WRI from depth point
data from the Danish Hydrologic Institute's (DHI) C-MAP data product,
interpolated at 1-km resolution.


18 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


C Maritime boundaries ao
* Coral reef locations o 1m m ao erw


" 'r \ d
C 1N
-a9


Ahib./ / 8 I

NcdfD
I A

V'- TNZUELAiD
*!--,\ VENEZUELA VL<


MA H CRBBA RGO








ABOUT THE PROJECT


The Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean project was initiated to
improve coral reef management by giving resource managers
and policymakers specific information and tools to help
manage coastal habitats more effectively. The project is
designed to raise awareness about the nature and extent of
the threats facing the region's coral reefs and to draw atten-
tion to the considerable value of these resources.
Achieving these aims by building up new information
from surveys and monitoring would be prohibitively expen-
sive. Rather, the project focuses on compiling existing infor-
mation from a broad range of sources and putting this
information together in a standardized, regionally consistent
format. Some of this information relates directly to coral
reefs, such as the locations of the reefs themselves. However,
the project also entails gathering information on other natu-
ral and human features that can be developed into proxy
measures, or indicators, of human threats to reefs. In addi-
tion, the project brings together social and economic data
on the region, supporting an analysis of the economic value
of the region's coral reefs and underpinning a series of pol-
icy and management recommendations.
The indicators developed by the Reefs at Risk in the
Caribbean project enable detailed comparative analyses of


Coral polyps filter feeding at night.


threats to coral reefs on many scales. The Reefs at Risk indi-
cators are a simplification of human activities and complex
natural processes. The approach and methodology used to
create the indicators, and their limitations, are described in
Chapter 2. In Chapter 3, we examine in detail the main
categories of threat to coral reefs, discuss the effects of these
threats, and suggest remedies for mitigating threats. Chapter
4 explores reef status and threats in nine sub-regions of the


BOX1 CAIBAL OA EF


A coral reef is both a physical structure and a highly productive ecosys-
tem. The physical structure is built over centuries by the piling up of
skeletons deposited by reef-building corals, which are colonies of tiny
animals. Each animal within the colony is known as a polyp and has a
simple tubular body with a ring of stinging tentacles around a central
mouth. Within these polyps are even smaller single-celled plants
(zooxanthellae). Corals filter food from the water using their tentacles,
but they also rely heavily on their zooxanthellae, which use the sun's
energy to synthesize sugars, some of which are taken up and used by
the polyps. These corals, then, must have sunlight to grow, reproduce,
and build their limestone (calcium carbonate) skeletons. Of the roughly
800 species of reef-building (Scleractinian or stony) corals that have
been described worldwide, about 65 are found in the Caribbean.a
Although these species are the great architects of the coral reef, their
numbers are dwarfed by a great diversity of other life forms-turtles,


fish, crustaceans, mollusks, urchins, sponges, and others-which
make coral reef ecosystems the most diverse on Earth.
The Caribbean region possesses about 26,000 sq km of shallow
coral reefs,b about 7 percent of the global total.c Reefs dominate shal-
low marine habitats over wide areas of the Caribbean, especially
around islands. They are more sparsely distributed through the Gulf of
Mexico. Far out in the Atlantic, the coral reefs of Bermuda are the most
northerly in the world.

Notes:
a. Spalding et al. (2001).
b. Although estimates of coral reef area will change with advances in map-
ping, the best data currently available support this estimate. See
Appendix B for sources used for this estimate, and Appendix A, Table Al
for comparison of different estimates of reef area by country.
c. G. Paulay, "Diversity and Distribution of Reef Organisms," in Life and
Death of CoralReefi. C. Birkeland, ed. (New York: Chapman & Hall,
1997), p. 303; Spalding et al. (2001).


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 19








Caribbean. Chapter 5 offers an estimation of the economic
value of three key goods and services provided by Caribbean
coral reefs-fish catch from reef fisheries, dive tourism, and
shoreline protection services-and presents an evaluation of
economic losses that could result as coral reefs degrade.
Finally, Chapter 6 formulates broad management and policy
recommendations based on the findings of the analysis.
Reefi at Risk in the Caribbean is part of a series that
began with a global analysis, Reefi at Risk: A Map-Based
Indicator of Threats to the World's Coral Reefi, released in
.. 1998.7 Subsequently, region-specific projects have refined
the original model, have incorporated a much higher-reso-
lution analysis, and have provided an improved tool for
analyzing the impacts of human activities on reefs. The first
in the regional analysis series, Reefi at Risk in Southeast Asia,
was released in 2002. The Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean
project, a two-year collaborative effort involving more than
20 partner institutions, has compiled and integrated far
more information than can be presented in this report.
More detailed information, including all maps and statistics,
country-level results, and details of the analytic methods are
available at http://reefsatrisk.wri.org/ and on the accompa-

nying Reef at Risk in the Caribbean data CD.





















About 65 species of reef-building coral are found in the Caribbean. The
major reef building species, which are typically large (>25 cm diameter)
and fast growing, are Elkhorn (Acroporapalmata), Staghorn (Acropora
cervicornis) and Star Coral (Montastraea spp.). Coral reefs are a valuable
asset to coastal communities offering a source of food, popular loca-
tions for tourism and recreation and a potential source of bioactive com-
pounds for new medicines.


20 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


































Seefs at Risk in the Caribbean brings together informa-
tion on the region's coral reefs and on their socioeco-
nomic and physical environment as a basis for a region-wide
analysis. The information is consolidated within a geo-
graphic information system (GIS) that includes data on
coral reef locations (maps), pressures on coral reefs
(observed threats, pollution, physical impacts), changes in
reef condition, observations of coral bleaching and disease,
and information on coral reef management. More than 30
physical and socioeconomic data sources were assembled in
support of the analysis-including data on elevation, land
cover, bathymetry, population distribution and growth
rates, and location of cities, ports, and other infrastructure.
Using these data, the Reefs at Risk project has devel-
oped maps showing the distribution of human pressure on
coral reefs. These are classed into four broad categories of
threat: coastal development, sediment and pollution from
inland sources, marine-based sources of threat, and overfish-
ing. These threats are also integrated into a single index of
relative human pressure. By utilizing only regional datasets,
the Reefs at Risk project ensures consistency in its findings,
allowing direct comparison of results across the region. The
clear and open model structure also makes it possible to
query the findings to establish driving mechanisms.


Both the individual threat indicators and the overarch-
ing index of human pressure serve as a basic guide to pre-
sent and future coral reef conditions across the Caribbean
region. Some areas rated as threatened may have already suf-
fered considerable degradation, while all are likely to experi-
ence degradation-including reduced live coral cover,
increased algal cover, or reduced species diversity-within
10 years.
Two broad areas of threat could not be included in the
model-disease pathogens and abnormally high sea surface
temperatures. Both of these issues are extremely important
and, indeed, have already had major impacts on wide areas
of Caribbean coral reefs. However, because of uncertainty
about some of the factors contributing to coral vulnerabil-
ity, as well as a lack of spatial detail in the data sets required
for such an analysis, we were not able to develop quantita-
tive indicators and maps to predict future threats. Although
these threats are not included in the model, Chapter 3 pre-
sents current knowledge and projections on the extent of
climate-related threats (including coral bleaching) and dis-
ease in the context of the other pressures on Caribbean
coral reefs.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 21












Threat Analysis Approach Limitations

Coastal Development e Threats to reefs evaluated based on distance from cities, ports, airports, and e Provides a good indicator of relative threat across the
dive tourism centers. Cities and ports stratified by size. region, but is likely to miss some site-specific threats.
Coastal population density (2000), coastal population growth (1990-2000), e Data sets used are the best available, but limitations
and annual tourism growth combined into indicator of "population pressure" regarding accuracy and completeness are inevitable.
treated as an additional stressor. In particular, rapid growth of tourism sector makes it
Thresholds selected for each stressor based on guidance from project collab- difficult to capture the most recent developments.
orators and observations of local damage from coastal development (includ-
ing sewage discharge). Stressors aggregated into single map layer.
Management effectiveness included as mitigating factor for threats to reefs
inside marine protected areas (MPAs).

Sediment and Pollution e Watershed-based analysis links land-based sources of threat with point of Nutrient delivery to coastal waters probably underesti-
from Inland Sources discharge to the sea. mated due to lack of spatial data on crop cultivation
Analysis of sediment and pollution threat to coral reefs implemented for more and fertilizer application and resulting use of a proxy
than 3,000 watersheds discharging to the Caribbean. (sediment delivery) for indirect estimation.
Relative erosion rates estimated across the landscape, based on slope, land e Sediment and nutrient delivery from flat agricultural
cover type, precipitation (during the month of maximum rainfall), and soil lands probably underestimated because slope is a
type.a very influential variable in estimating relative erosion
e Erosion rates summarized by watershed (adjusting for watershed size) to rates.
estimate resulting sediment delivery at river mouths.
Sediment plume dispersion estimated using a function in which sediment
diminishes as distance from the river mouth increases. Estimated sediment
plumes calibrated against observed sediment impacts on selected coral
reefs.b

Marine-Based Sources Threats to coral reefs from marine-based sources evaluated based on dis- Estimates focus on ships in or near port. Threat asso-
of Threat tance to ports, stratified by size; intensity of cruise ship visitation; and dis- ciated with marine travel lanes probably underesti-
tance to oil and gas infrastructure, processing, and pipelines, mated due to lack of sufficiently detailed database on
Caribbean shipping lanes.

Overfishing Threats to coral reefs evaluated based on coastal population density and Local overfishing pressure captured in proxy indicator
shelf area (up to 30 m depth) within 30 km of reef. Analysis calibrated using (based on human population per unit of coastal shelf
survey observations of coral reef fish abundance. area), due to lack of spatially-specific data on num-
Management effectiveness included as mitigating factor for threats to reefs bers of fishers, landing sites, fishing method/effort,
inside marine protected areas (MPAs). or fish catch from reef fisheries.
Destructive fishing practices not evaluated, as these are rare in the e Indicator reflects fishing within 30 km of shore.
Caribbean region. Impacts of larger-scale commercial fishing pressure,
illegal fishing, or movement of fleets not included in
analysis.


on Potential" was estimated
ngton, DC: USDA, 1989).
Check surveys and expert o
intic and Gulf Raoid Reef As


D DeDartment of A2riculture (USDA) Aricultural RE


n the Reefs at Risk workshop were used tc
(AGRRA) surveys were used to evaluate re
es, nitrogen is highly soluble and moves m


THREAT ANALYSIS METHOD

The project's modeling approach involves identifying

sources of stress that can be mapped for each threat cate-

gory. These "stressors" include simple population and infras-

tructure features, such as population density and location

and size of cities, ports, and tourism centers, as well as more

complex modeled estimates of riverine inputs. Model rules

were developed to build proxy indicators of threat level for

these stressors. This involved the development of distance-


based rules by which the threat declines as distance from

the stressor increases. For ease of interpretation, these

threats are simply subdivided into "low," "medium," and

"high" categories. Substantial input from scientists in the

region contributed to the selection of the stressors and

threat rules (thresholds) developed, while the threat indica-

tors were further calibrated against available information on

observed impacts on coral reefs.


22 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


NOTES:
a. "Relative Eros
Service (Wash
b. Data from Ree
cover from At
c. Although phos


version of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, Ur


ive coral cover








Table 1 provides a summary of the threat analysis
method and limitations for each threat category. Results of
the threat analysis are presented in Chapter 3. Appendix B
provides a list of the data sources used in the analysis and
details of model validation. The full technical notes for the
analysis are available online at http://reefsatrisk.wri.org/.

Integrating Threats: The Reefs at Risk Threat Index

The four threats described in Table 1 were integrated into a
single index-the Reefs at Risk Threat Index. For each reef
unit (a 25-hectare square measuring 500 m on each side),
the index is set to the highest threat value ("low,"
"medium," or "high") recorded for any individual threat. To
capture cumulative threat in a given location, the integrated
index is designated as "very high" in areas where three or
four individual threats were rated as "high." In areas where
at least three threats were rated as "medium," the integrated
index is set to "high."
The Reefs at Risk Threat Index was used to analyze the
economic value of key goods and services provided by
Caribbean coral reefs. The methods used for this analysis
are described in Chapter 5 and online at
http://reefsatrisk.wri.org.


LIMITATIONS OF THE ANALYSIS

The Reefs at Risk analysis approach is a simplification of
human activities and complex natural processes. The model
relies on available data and predicted relationships but can-
not capture all aspects of the dynamic interactions between
people and coral reefs. The threat indicators gauge current
and potential risks associated with human activities. A
strength of the analysis lies in its use of regionally consistent
data sets to develop regionally consistent indicators of
human pressure on coral reefs. However, the model is not
perfect, and omissions and other errors in the data sets are
inevitable.
Fairly limited data are available to calibrate the individ-
ual threat layers and validate the overall model results. (See
Appendix B.) The thresholds chosen to distinguish low,
medium, and high threat relied heavily on the knowledge of
project collaborators. Their review of model results also
served as our most comprehensive validation of results.
Lack of spatial detail in the region-wide physical and
oceanographic data sets and some other information gaps,
such as causes of coral diseases, prevented us from including
the threats of climate change, coral bleaching, and coral dis-
ease in the model. Hence, these overarching threats are not
accounted for in this analysis. The Reefs at Risk model
results should be regarded as our best attempt to evaluate
human pressure on Caribbean coral reefs, using currently
available sources. These are indicators of current human
pressure that, in some areas, has already led to reef degrada-
tion and in all areas provides an indication of threat to
future condition.


INature is complex and sometimes unpredictable.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 23


































Rising population densities and associated coastal devel-
opment as well as increased fishing, agricultural, and
industrial activities are the major causes of pressures on
Caribbean coral reefs. These sources have changed little in
recent decades, but they have intensified dramatically.8 Over
millennia, reef communities have adapted to many natural
pressures, such as hurricanes, where damage was followed
by recovery, but now, a great range of direct and indirect
human pressures have been added. Acting alone or in com-
bination, these pressures can lead to acute or chronic
ecosystem stress, which results in the breakdown and loss of
coral communities, or to more subtle changes in ecosystem
structure, such as the flourishing growth of algae on reefs.
Changes to reefs can be gradual or rapid, but ultimately
these changes diminish the value of goods and services
derived from reefs by, for example, reducing coral reef habi-
tat available for fisheries or reducing the shoreline protec-
tion afforded by reefs.
Coral reefs vary considerably in their ability to with-
stand pressures and to recover from damage or disturbances.
This may be partly driven by ecological factors, including
the species composition of the reef itself and its connectivity
to other reefs. In addition, the physical setting of a reef (dis-
tance from land, reef depth, and the rate of water flow in


the area) influences its vulnerability. Characterizing the
pressures acting on any reef is complex, as there are multiple
sources of stress operating over several spatial and temporal
scales.9
This chapter examines the four region-wide threats
included in the Reefs at Risk Caribbean model: coastal
development, sedimentation and pollution from inland
sources, marine-based threats, and overfishing. In addition,
the issues of climate change (including coral bleaching) and
coral diseases are discussed. Remedies applicable across the
Caribbean region are suggested to address each of these
threats. The chapter concludes with the integration of these
four threats into the Reefs at Risk Threat Index, which
attempts to represent the cumulative threat to coral reefs
from these four key categories. In the following chapter,
Chapter 4, these region-wide projections of threat are linked
with observed changes in coral reefs and management
responses in nine Caribbean sub-regions.

COASTAL DEVELOPMENT

The estimated number of people living within 10 km of the
Caribbean coast grew from 36 million in 1990 to 41 mil-
lion in 2000.10 Some 36 percent of Caribbean coral reefs
are located within 2 km of inhabited land and are thus


24 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN









highly susceptible to pressures arising from coastal popula-

tions.11 Extensive construction and development for hous-

ing, roads, ports, and other development has been required

to support both the residential and tourist populations.

Poorly managed coastal development puts stress on

coral reefs through direct damage from dredging, land recla-

mation, and sand and limestone mining for construction as

well as through less direct pressures such as runoff from

construction sites and removal of coastal habitat. The loss of

mangroves and seagrass, which filter sediment and nutrients

coming from the land, has been widespread in the


Caribbean12 and adds to the pressure. Increased sediment in

coastal waters reduces the amount of light reaching the

corals and hinders the ability of their symbiotic algae

(zooxanthellae) to photosynthesize.13

In addition, the widespread discharge of untreated

sewage is a major source of nutrients entering coastal

waters. Coral reefs flourish in waters nearly devoid of nutri-

ents, and increased nutrient concentrations promote algal

growth at the expense of corals.14 Although information is

incomplete, data suggest that less than 20 percent of sewage

generated within the Caribbean region is properly treated.15


MP2 REFTB C TLD


United States


a
Beimuda


c~i


2-


Mexico












Estimated threat lev
* Low
* Medium
* High


si



Guatemala ,*
Honduras r'


Nicaragua jf *
te\'


o 10 200 Wn e
0 100 200 Kiloneters


Bahamas


Cama


Jamaica "
go


p &


CA R I BIB A N I;I.


r


t Colombia
A IPanm N(


A TLANTIC
OCEAN





0mitiaAn
public


Puerto t
Rico *
0*
A ?


Vcnteucla


Threats to reefs from coastal development were estimated based on distance from cities, ports, airports, and dive tourism cen-
ters, as well as population density, population growth, and tourism growth in the area. For reefs inside marine protected areas
(MPAs), management effectiveness was included as a factor mitigating threat. (See Box 3 in Chapter 4 and Table A5 in
Appendix A.)

Source: WRI, Reefi at Risk in the Caribbean, 2004 (see Appendix B).


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 25


GU 111 of MEY I CO


*


S
.% .-.--


v
i --.


el








Sewage discharge is a common problem in developing
countries, but it is also a problem in the Florida Keys,
where seepage from cesspools and discharge of secondary-
treated sewage at ocean outfalls add to nutrient build-up.16
Another source of diminished water quality is runoff of
motor oil and other waste from roads. Industrial pollution
from oil refineries, sugar processing, distilleries, breweries,
food processing, and the paper and chemical industries are
also a concern.1
In recent years, the Caribbean region has undergone
massive growth in tourism, a sector of major importance to
the regional economy. Well-planned tourism development
can have minimal impact, or even a net positive impact, on
coral reefs, but rarely is this the case. Unplanned or poorly
regulated tourism can kill reefs. Tourism activities can pro-
duce both direct physical impacts (such as diver and anchor
damage) and indirect impacts from resort development and
operation (pollution from untreated sewage). The develop-
ment of tourism infrastructure (construction of ports, air-
ports, and hotels) also takes its toll on coral reefs. Many of
these disturbances are similar to those caused by coastal
development more generally, but tourism is a particular
problem because it frequently moves into new, undeveloped
areas, away from existing urban developments.
Modeling results. The model's indicator of coastal
development threat-incorporating estimated pressure from
sewage discharge, urban runoff, construction, and tourism
development-identified about one-third of the region's
reefs as threatened (slightly over 15 percent each at medium
and at high threat). Coastal development pressure was iden-
tified as significant along the coastlines of most of the
Greater Antilles, Eastern Caribbean, the Bay Islands in
Honduras, and along parts of the Florida Keys, the Yucatan,
and the Southern Caribbean. Areas identified at lowest
threat from coastal development were the Bahamas, the
Turks and Caicos Islands, and Cuba (see Map 2).
Remedies. Impacts of coastal development on coral
reefs can be minimized in many ways. Better planning can
ensure protection for important habitats and prevent dredg-
ing or building near sensitive and valuable habitats (such as
wetlands, mangroves, and seagrass). Guidelines for con-
struction and engineering activities can also help reduce


Where coastal development is implemented and how it is managed
profoundly influence the degree of impact to coral reefs.


threats. Investment in building and maintaining sewage
treatment systems in towns and tourist areas can reduce
sewage discharge to the sea. Innovative legal measures that
ensure accountability and payment for waste disposal and
treatment, or demand "no net loss" of sensitive ecosystems,
can help modify building design and promote environmen-
tally sustainable infrastructure development.
Tourism takes many forms (mass tourism, small hotels,
eco-resorts) and can bring a variety of benefits to the local
population.1" Ownership of a resort, sources of food and
beverage (local or imported), and taxation rules all affect
how much a local community benefits from tourism. In
addition, the design and development of the resort, energy
sources and use, and degree of sewage treatment affect the
resort's environmental impact. Determining the carrying
capacity of the area and the reef itself as part of the develop-
ment planning process can help ensure that tourism devel-
opment brings maximum benefit to local communities
while minimizing damaging environmental impacts.
Certification schemes, accreditation, and awards based on
actual achievement (not just statement of intent) of good
environmental practices by hotels and dive and tour opera-
tors provide incentives for environmentally sensible devel-
opment. Education of tourists, especially teaching divers
and snorkelers not to damage reefs, is essential to reducing
impacts. Tourists can contribute financially to recovery and
management efforts through park entrance fees or dona-
tions.


26 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN









SEDIMENTATION AND POLLUTION FROM INLAND SOURCES
Agriculture, though important to economic development
and food security, is a source of increased sediment, nutri-
ent, and pesticide runoff. Conversion of land to agriculture
increases soil erosion and sediment delivery to coastal
waters. In areas where agriculture coincides with steep
slopes and heavy precipitation, soil erosion can be extreme.
This analysis classified nearly a quarter of the land area
draining into the Caribbean as agricultural land cover.19
Map 3 shows agricultural lands by slope category. Several
watersheds were identified as areas of particularly high ero-
sion risk: in Mexico (discharging to the Gulf of Mexico); in
Guatemala and Honduras (discharging to the Bay of


Honduras); and Colombia, Eastern Jamaica, Haiti, and
Puerto Rico (discharging into the Caribbean Sea).
Increased sediment delivery to coastal waters is a key
stress on coastal ecosystems. It screens out light needed for
photosynthesis, jeopardizes survival of juvenile coral due to
loss of suitable substrate, and, in extreme cases, can lead to
complete smothering of corals. Coral reef damage from sil-
tation has been documented on the coasts of Panama, Costa
Rica, and Nicaragua, among other locations.20
Runoff of fertilizer and livestock manure from agricul-
tural lands is a significant source of nutrients (especially
nitrogen and phosphorus) entering coastal waters. Some of
the major crops in the region-sugarcane, citrus, bananas,


P 3. Ai


1 ~ GU(J!LF of ME XICO '
4 .


-A a

- "o
- ..A ...,.






"" ".- '.'. "'" i--

d -


Percentage slope on
-, agricultural land
CD 0-1%
= 2-5%
6-10%
S11 20%
S21 45%
Watershed boundaries





ATLANTIC
OCEAN







=1


CARIBBEAN SEA


0 100 200 Mles
0 100 200 KilomtWs
E!!Ei i


l''" -N


f % %,- % -,

i'- *i~ *

S ,y '--.. .-,,
4 ..*'' i .
-5V


, 1


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 27


-I -

-V
-cnL- h
yt'


Sources: Watershed boundaries derived at WRI. Percentage slope on agricultural land derived at WRI from Global Land Cover Characteristics Database (U.S.
Geological Survey (USGS), 2000) at 1-km resolution and HYDRO1K Digital Elevation Model (USGS, 2000) at 1-km resolution.


~--~I,








grains, and coffee-require large inputs of fertilizer and pes-
ticides.21 For example, the average fertilizer application rate
for cultivation of bananas is 479 kilograms per hectare per
growing season.22 The discharge of nutrients into coastal
waters is a major cause of eutrophication, especially in low-
flow areas, and can cause algal blooms, changes in the
aquatic community structure, and decreased biological
diversity. The presence of algae on substrate can inhibit col-
onization by larval recruits, thereby initiating a decrease in
live coral cover and an increase in algal or other vegetative
cover. In extreme cases, high levels of nutrients produce
"dead zones" because of massive oxygen depletion in the
nutrient-rich waters. Such zones occur regularly off the
Mississippi Delta, and smaller events have been recorded
along much of the Florida coastline.23 Where such events
meet coral reefs, the results can be devastating. An isolated
event in Venezuela in 1996 led to the death of almost all
reef organisms over several square kilometers.24
Accumulation of toxic pesticides in coastal organisms is
another aspect of threat from agricultural runoff. Negative
impacts include damage to seagrass beds from herbicides
and changes in reef community structure, such as loss of
live coral cover and increases in algae and sponges.25 The
environmental effects of pesticide runoff depend on the
chemicals used, amounts applied, farm layout (including
vegetation cover, slope, and drainage), and the presence of
riparian buffer zones along rivers and streams.
Modeling results. Analysis of more than 3,000 water-
sheds across the i, !..n identified coastal waters likely to
experience increased sediment and pollutant delivery related
to land-use activities. Approximately 9,000 sq km of coral
reefs (about one-third of the regional total) were identified
as threatened (about 15 percent at medium threat and 20
percent at high threat). Areas with a large proportion of
threatened reefs were identified off Jamaica, Hispaniola,
Puerto Rico, Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia. Some
reefs in eastern Cuba were identified as threatened, as were
the near-shore reefs in Belize, Venezuela, and reefs near the
high islands of the Eastern Caribbean (see Map 4).
Remedies. Sustainable agricultural planning and man-
agement encourages soil and water conservation practices
that protect coral reefs by controlling cropland erosion and


Construction of roads and housing in steep areas can result in enormous
erosion during severe rainfall events.


surface water runoff. Terracing helps avoid excessive runoff
from farming on steep slopes. Optimal practices in tillage,
fertilizer application, and harvesting will further reduce loss
of both soil and nutrients, while reforestation near streams
helps to reduce erosion. Fertilizers and pesticides can be
used in ways that minimize leaching and transport to
coastal areas.
In sensitive areas where there are particularly important
coastal resources, stronger regulation of agricultural prac-
tices may help to protect coral reefs and the livelihoods of
coastal populations. Elsewhere, adding pollution taxes to
the cost of agrichemicals at the point of sale can reduce
wasteful or extravagant use. Assuring retention of coastal
wetlands, mangroves, and seagrasses near river mouths
would mitigate harmful impacts by filtering sediment and
nutrients from the water before they reach coral reefs.


28 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


;Fu H.: .... .. ...... ........
x ,i;;; :: ..i:
AM";
50.;









NID P O F M IL


United States

H5 f'.. -'


4


GUlF oJ Ml \ ICO


Bahamas


ATLANTIC
OCEAN


U
a.
ill


4


ip


Ca


Guatemala
Honduras r -..,


x Nicaragua g U


level


0 100 2P0 Mes
0 100 200 Kiloeler
eM***iiiiii


0


I.


'I[^ 7"1 P. Turks and
.ub Caicos Islands
- Nr J '- b- -

Hait -. Kepubhc

P P"
Jamaica *aim



0
A{JJA NIA


rJ


Threats to reefs from sedimentation and pollution from inland sources were modeled for over 3,000 watersheds discharging
into the Caribbean. The model incorporates estimates of relative erosion rates across the landscape (based on slope, land cover
type, precipitation during the month of maximum rainfall, and soil type) summarized by watershed to estimate resulting sedi-
ment delivery at river mouths. Sediment plume dispersion was estimated as a function of distance from the river mouth and
calibrated against observed impacts of sediment on coral reefs.
Source: WRI, Reefi at Risk in the Caribbean, 2004 (see Appendix B).


MARINE-BASED SOURCES OF THREAT

Within the Caribbean region, marine-based sources of pol-
lution cause great concern. Activities giving rise to this pol-

lution include oil discharge and spills, sewage, ballast and

bilge discharge, and dumping of garbage and other human
waste from ships. Direct physical damage is caused by

groundings and anchors, particularly in high-visitation
areas. Anchors can devastate coral reefs. The chain and

anchor of a large cruise ship can weigh 4.5 metric tons


(mt). Even in calm seas, reckless anchoring can damage up

to 200 square meters of ocean bottom.27

Most small vessels, including fishing vessels, dive boats,
and private recreational boats, remain in coastal waters, but

many others, including commercial transport, oil transport,

and cruise vessels, crisscross the Caribbean in an intricate
network. The Caribbean is also an important oil-producing

area, with most of this oil shipped within the region. The

areas most vulnerable to spills or accidents are in the vicini-
ty of ports or channels reserved for tanker traffic. Accidental


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 29


/


Bermuda


1~


Mexico











Estimated threat
* Low
* Medium
* High


S 7 Colombia


V n, n -.


Vcnczuela iC









MAP ~ ~ ~ 5. REFIHETNDB MRN-AE ORE


United States


(1.F' oJM MHXIC()


GULF I I o/'M~i.lh X/CO


.3.


''
I




B




(I


'UI


Bahamas


b Turks and
Caicos Islands
*d?^ .


urn


ITLA .. I 1C
OCEAN





lican
hc

Puerto
Rico a C'

Z -


CA RIBH 1 'AN SI A


<* .


Estimated threat level
* Low o 10o o MIes
SMedium
* High 0 10D 2 Klo ietus


r


I --"' Colombia -,


V -nn, -



Venezuela 3


Threats to coral reefs from marine-based sources were evaluated based on distance to ports (stratified by size), intensity of
cruise ship visitation, and distance to oil and gas infrastructure, processing, and pipelines.
Source: WRI, Reefi at Risk in the Caribbean, 2004 (see Appendix B).


releases of oil are a relatively minor source of pollution,
however, compared to the amount of oil that enters the
environment from disposal of tanker bilge water, washing of
tanks, and routine maintenance of oil drilling rigs and
pipelines.28 Oil damages coral reproductive tissues, harms
zooxanthellae, inhibits juvenile recruitment, and reduces
resilience of reefs to other stresses.29 Discharge of bilge and
ballast water from ships releases a toxic mix of oil, nutrients,
exotic marine species, and other pollutants. Tides and cur-
rents dissipate much of this pollution over time and space,
but pollution often lingers in enclosed areas and quiet
waters with less circulation and exchange.


Cruise ships are also a significant source of pollution in
the Caribbean. A typical cruise ship generates an average of
8 mt (2,228 gallons) of oily bilge v. tr, r and 1 mt of
g -iib i, each day. The volume of cruise-ship tourism has
roughly quadrupled in the last 20 years32 and the Caribbean
cruise industry accounts for about 58 percent of the world's
cruise ship passengers.33 According to recent estimates by
the Ocean Conservancy, 25 million passenger bed-days on
cruise ships in the Caribbean generated an estimated 90,000
mt of waste in 2000.34
Ship-generated wastes are a major source of solid waste
in coastal areas.35 During the Ocean Conservancy's Coastal
Cleanup for 2003, more than 55,000 people participated in


30 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


Bermuda


.. - I5 S 0




Mcxiao ^fJ
". M.

Guatemala -
Honduras '


Nicaragua








the Caribbean. This effort documented and removed more
than 1,200 mt of waste along 2,100 km of coastline.36
Sewage discharge from both cruise ships and increas-
ingly numerous yachts causes concern in heavily visited
areas. Large ships have sewage-holding tanks and are pro-
hibited from discharging untreated sewage within 7 km of
the nearest land, according to Annex IV of MARPOL.37
Coastal cargo vessels and recreational boats are less likely to
have holding tanks. Due to the lack of port reception facili-
ties for sewage wastes in most Caribbean countries, these
smaller vessels are more likely than large ships to discharge
their wastewaters in marinas and near-shore waters.38 In the
case of recreational vessels, these discharges may take place
very close to coral reefs.
Modeling results. Many of the region's small islands
were identified as under high threat from shipping and
marine-based sources of pollution. Threat was estimated as
high in St. Lucia, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, the
Netherlands Antilles (including Aruba), the Virgin Islands,
and Bermuda. In addition, Puerto Rico, the Dominican
Republic, Jamaica, and Panama were identified as having
many threatened reefs (see Map 5). Overall, the analysis
identified about 15 percent of the region's reefs as threat-
ened by marine-based sources (about 10 percent at medium
and about 5 percent at high threat).
Remedies. The development of a regulatory framework
can prompt establishment of facilities to receive and manage
ship-generated wastes in ports. This is essential for cruise
ships, which contribute an estimated 77 percent of all ship-
type waste, compared with 20 percent from cargo ships.39
Development of legislation to incorporate the international
conventions on the prevention of pollution from ships
(MARPOL, London Dumping, OPRC, CLC, and
FUND)40 will greatly help reduce the threat. Pollution from
small vessels such as yachts can also be addressed through
regulations and guidelines, while education of vessel owners
helps enforce compliance. In addition, a phase-out of the
use of anchors in all coral reef and seagrass areas is crucial,
with a clear priority on areas where current boat traffic is
high. The use of mooring buoys or anchorage zones can be
promoted as an alternative.


OVERFISHING
In the Caribbean region, fisheries have long been the main-
stay of coastal communities, particularly in the island
nations. Coral reef fisheries-predominantly artisanal,
small-scale, subsistence fisheries-are an inexpensive source
of protein and provide employment where few alternatives
exist. In tourist areas, many fish are sold directly to local
restaurants. For countries such as Belize and the Bahamas,
the export market in snapper, grouper, and reef-associated
lobster and conch generates millions of dollars for the
national economy, supplying demand far away from these
tropical sources.41
The open access of reef fisheries, typically with few reg-
ulations, makes reef fish particularly susceptible to overex-
ploitation. Because most reefs are close inshore and geo-
graphically contained, fish distribution is highly predictable
in space and time.42 Portable fish traps, the most widely
used fishing gear in the Caribbean, are cheap and effec-
tive.43 Unfortunately, such traps can also be destructive and
wasteful-destructive when fishers drop them directly onto
the reef, breaking up the corals, and wasteful when they are
lost underwater because the traps continue to catch fish for
many months or years, a process known as ghost fishing.
The life cycle of reef fish also makes them vulnerable to
fishing pressure. Fishers selectively remove larger organisms
because of their greater value, and one typical sign of over-
fishing is a decline in average size of target species. Because
the largest individuals have the greatest reproductive output,
removing them from the population reduces replenishment
of the stock.44
Another particularly damaging form of overfishing in
the Caribbean has been the targeting of spawning aggrega-
tions. Several of the larger grouper and snapper species,
from areas spanning several hundred square kilometers, con-
gregate at known localities once or twice a year to spawn in
vast numbers. Where fishers know the location of such
spawning aggregations, they can remove the entire popula-
tion of a species over the course of just a few nights.
In heavily fished reef systems, the large, valuable fish-
such as groupers and snappers-become so scarce that peo-
ple fish for lower-valued species45 (termed "fishing down the
food web"). For example, in Bermuda herbivorous reef fish


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 31








(e.g., parrotfish, surgeonfish, and triggerfish) increased from
less than 1 percent of the catch in the 1960s to 31 percent
in the 1990s. The shift led to a ban on fish traps in 1990
that is still enforced.46
Overfishing not only affects the size of harvestable
stocks but can lead to major shifts, direct and indirect, in
community structure, both of fish species and reef commu-




Overfishing in Jamaican waters can be traced back over 100 years,
with the capture of not only the large predators but also of most of
the herbivorous, algal-grazing fish. This reduced the resilience of
the reef ecosystem, and it became highly dependent on a single
species, the long-spined sea urchin, to keep algal levels down. The
reefs were smashed by Hurricane Allen in 1980, but began slowly
to recover, with the grazing urchins playing a critical role in keep-
ing down the algae so new corals could settle. Then in 1983 the
urchins were all killed by a disease. With overfishing still rampant,
there were no major grazers left. The already-established corals
could survive, but algal levels began to rise. In 1988 Hurricane
Gilbert struck the island, once again devastating the corals. At this
point, the algae flourished, perhaps helped by the high levels of
nutrient pollution in the water, and clearly benefiting from the lack
of any grazers. A "phase shift" occurred in which the coral reefs
were largely replaced by algal ecosystems. Between 1977 and
1993, live coral cover declined from 52 percent to 3 percent, and
fleshy algae cover increased from 4 percent to 92 percent. The rea-
sons for the change are complex and multiple: overfishing, dis-
ease, and two hurricanes, perhaps exacerbated by nutrient pollu-
tion.a But, recent monitoring provides some signs of hope return
of sea urchins, decreased algal cover and increasing coral cover in
a few locations. Increased coastal management efforts and
resilience in the system are likely contributing to this modest
recovery.

Notes:
a. T.P. Hughes et al. (2003).
b. J. Mendes, J.D. Woodley, and C. Henry, "Changes in Reef
Community Structure on Lime Cay, Jamaica, 1989-1999: The
Story Before Protection." Paper presented at the International
Conference on Scientific Aspects of Coral Reef Assessment,
Monitoring, and Restoration, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 14-16 April
1999; L. Cho and J. X 11 "Recovery of Reefs at Discovery Bay,
Jamaica and the Role of Diadema antillarum." Paper presented at
the 9th International Coral Reef Symposium, Bali, Indonesia,
23-27 October 2000.


nities as a whole.47 In the competition for space between
corals and algae, herbivorous fish help to control algae, thus
favoring the growth and recruitment of corals.48 When the
herbivores are removed, algae can flourish and coral cover is
reduced. This effect is evident in the sequence of events that
led to the dramatic decline of Jamaica's reefs (see Box 2).
Overfishing can lead to short-term losses in biodiversity, the
loss of species with critical roles in the ecosystem, and may
also lower the resilience of the reef to other threats.
Modeling results. The Reefs at Risk indicator for the
overfishing threat identified highly populated areas and
areas where coastal shelves are narrow (such as in the
Eastern Caribbean) as being under high threat, based on the
large numbers of fishers and relatively small fishing area (see
Map 6). The analysis estimated that fishing pressure is lower
in the Bahamas, where the human population is small. In
the western Caribbean and Cuba, where many reefs are far
from the mainland, the analysis also rated the threat as low.
It should be noted that this indicator does not capture
fishing pressure from more remote locations or illegal fish-
ing (see Chapter 2 "Limitations of the Analysis" and Table
1). In the region as a whole, the study identified about 60
percent of reefs as threatened by overfishing (with about 30
percent each under medium and high threat). Destructive
fishing practices (e.g., use of dynamite or cyanide) were not
evaluated for the Caribbean, as they are rarely practiced in
the region. The destructive impact of trap fishing and of
lost fishing nets entangling reefs should be noted. To a
broad approximation, these are likely to follow the patterns
of fishing pressure as a whole.
Remedies. Effective management of coastal resources is
crucial, especially along densely populated coastlines. Less
intensive fishing will allow the fisheries resource to build up
to the point where the harvest is balanced with the natural
replenishment of the population.49 Financial and other
incentives can encourage sustainable fishing practices, while
fines and penalties discourage illegal fishing and other
breaches of sustainable practices. Licensing new fishers helps
limit access to fisheries currently vulnerable to overfishing.
Legal systems can also be put in place to restrict the catch of
species subject to severe overfishing, such as the bans on all
takings of selected conch species instituted in several


32 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN









MAP~~~~~~ 6.RESTRAEEDB IVRIH


Unired States






vi
--J '


G UIF of JMEiXICO)


.3.

e /.


a.
S


i i

Guatemala Z
Honduras


\, Nicaragua S


Islands -


Bihamas


m r Turks and
Caicos Islands
'd?^'


Jamaica a

SI
CA R/i{B I'AN ,.iA


muda









[TLA /I JC
OCEAN






bc

Puerto N
Rico -






d


y
rh


Estimated threat level
* LOw o io 200 Mes
a Medium 2
High 0 10 20 letKifls


Kt a. 7 .nn "i


Threats to coral reefs from overfishing were evaluated based on coastal population density adjusted by the shelf area (up to 30
m depth) within 30 km of the reef. The management effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPAs) was included as a factor
mitigating threat to reefs inside their boundaries. The analysis was calibrated using survey observations of coral reef fish abun-
dance. (See Box 3 in Chapter 4 and Table A5 in Appendix A.)

Source: WRI, Reef at Risk in the Caribbean, 2004 (see Appendix B).


Caribbean countries. Other controls limit the numbers

caught, the size of individuals that may be taken (to ensure

that individuals can reach breeding age), or the fishing gear

used (for example, several countries now require the use of

biodegradable panels in fish traps to avoid "ghost fishing"

by lost traps). Seasonal restrictions can be used to protect

species as they spawn. One of the most important tools,

increasingly recognized and put into practice across the

Caribbean, is the total closure of areas to fishing. Such "no-

take zones" provide fish with a refuge, allowing spawning

stocks to build up and adults to spill over into the sur-


rounding waters. These zones have been shown to greatly

increase overall catch levels from wider reef ecosystems.50


CLIMATE CHANGE

The rapid buildup of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the

atmosphere during the past century has already altered the

global climate. GHG concentrations have grown by more

than a third since pre-industrial times and, without signifi-

cant policy intervention, are expected to reach double pre-

industrial levels by the end of the twenty-first century.51

The average temperature of the Earth has risen by 0.60C to


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 33


Mexico


Oi
P
r~ ;s
T
j~~~s I
V- --,..


Vcnaucla


U


r ft








0.8C in the last 100 years, and the global average sea level
has risen some 18 centimeters (cm).52 The impacts of these
basic changes have not been fully determined, but could
alter patterns of surface currents and upwellings, the loca-
tion and intensity of extreme climatic events, and chemical
processes in the oceans (associated with elevated levels of
dissolved carbon dioxide).53 The following sections describe
some of the ongoing and projected impacts of climate
change on coral reefs in the Caribbean.

Coral bleaching

The most direct evidence of the impact of climate warming
on Caribbean marine biodiversity has been widespread
"bleaching" of its reef-building corals. Currently, scientific
uncertainties preclude incorporation of climate change or
coral bleaching into the Reefs at Risk model. These phe-
nomena must, however, be recognized as important threats
to coral reefs in the Caribbean.
Bleaching refers to the loss of a coral's natural color
(often hues of green and brown) caused by the expulsion of
symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae), leaving the coral very pale to
brilliant white in appearance. Bleaching can be a response
to many different stresses, including salinity changes, exces-
sive light, toxins, and microbial infection, but increases in
sea surface temperature (SST) are the most common cause
of bleaching over wide areas.54 Coral bleaching in the
Caribbean is usually triggered by an increase of at least
1.0C in SST above the normal summertime maximums
with a duration of at least 2 to 3 days.55


IW_










In response to stress, corals expel their symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae)
leaving them bleached in appearance. Bleached corals can recover and
regain their color, but in more severe cases many die.


FIGURE 1.NM E O EOTD LAHN
OBEVAIN BY YEA


180
160
140
120
00oo
80
60
40
20
198 198 1988
1984 1986 1988


In mild events, bleaching is transient, and corals regain
their color (algae) within months with little apparent mor-
tality. In more severe cases, many of the corals die. Post-
bleaching surveys have shown that some coral species have
higher rates of mortality than others.56 Repeated bleaching
events in the Caribbean over the past decades have caused
widespread damage to reef-building corals and contributed
to the overall decline in reef condition.5
No incidents of mass coral bleaching were formally
reported in the Caribbean before 1983.58 Since the early
1980s, however, more than 500 observations have been
reported (see Map 7and Figure 1).59 One of the earliest inci
dences was during the 1982-83 El Nifio Southern
Oscillation (ENSO), while another major bleaching event
occurred in 1987, during an ENSO.60 Further bleaching
incidents were recorded at various locations through the
1990s. In 1998, the highest average maximum SSTs on
record in the Caribbean/Atlantic coincided with a large
ENSO61 and extensive areas of the Caribbean experienced
bleaching at this time, with particularly severe occurrences
in the Bahamas and Western Caribbean.62


Predicting Future Bleaching Threat

The conditions under which coral reefs have thrived in the
Caribbean for millennia are rapidly changing. Global cli-
mate models predict that, by 2070, atmospheric tempera-
tures in the Caribbean region will rise between 20C and
4C, with large changes in the northern Caribbean and


34 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN









IM C BLC I O


United Stares


r,


*I
^


~rS.


GU LF of Mi \'ICO





--
q p








\Guatemala
SHonduras


\ Nicaragua
"X i.
____ f'-cQ


0 100 200 Miles
0 100 200 Kllomten


1I

eat-r
0,i

--.3~~

C...


(


Bramas



- ,' ,- oTurks and
jCaicos Islands


Colombia


ATLANTIC
OCEAN


Jamaica Rico o

(ARJ,2AN V14-A


-Z N,----
Vt


Venczucla


i2



L~


Observations of coral bleaching in the Caribbean are widespread. Of the over 500 observations in recent decades, 24 were dur
ing the 1980s, over 350 during the 1990s, and over 100 since 2000. The increase in recorded incidents reflects both rising sea
surface temperatures and greater awareness and communication of coral bleaching events.

Source: Reefbase, "Coral Beaching Dataset," download from http://www.reefbase.org on 10 August 2004.


around the continental margins.63 Because current SST lev-

els are near the upper temperature thresholds for survival of

corals, bleaching is predicted to become an annual event in

the Caribbean by 2020.64 The long-term survival of shal-

low-water corals may depend on their ability to adapt to

changing temperatures, and research suggests that some

corals take on more heat-tolerant algae after bleaching,

allowing them to be more resistant to future thermal

stress.65 Also, ocean circulation might allow coral species

with higher temperature tolerances to migrate into warming

areas.66


During the major bleaching events to date, localized

areas with less incidence of bleaching have been observed,

notably areas of deeper water as well as areas of greater

water circulation. Scientists cannot currently predict specific

patterns of ecosystem tolerance or cross-regional variation in

temperature changes. Widespread monitoring and sharing

of information on both patterns of bleaching and recovery

are essential to improving our understanding of this very

important, overarching threat to Caribbean coral reefs.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 35


Bermuda


McxWt


rB -


tfa^,


--








Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
Most of the Caribbean lies within the hurricane belt. High-
intensity tropical storms develop over areas of warm sea
water during the summer months and can sweep across the
region, with devastating consequences on land and sea. The
largest such storms can drive up waves over 16 meters in
height, pounding coastal waters and smashing many shallow
reefs to rubble. The high rainfall associated with storms
often results in increased sedimentation around reefs close
to shore or near river mouths. These are natural events from
which coral reefs can recover, though recovery of the most
severely damaged reefs may take a decade or two after the
fiercest storms.
From 1995 to 2000, the Caribbean region experienced
the highest level of hurricane activity in the reliable record.
However, this followed a period of lower-than-average
storm activity.67 Climate models cannot yet accurately proj-
ect how the frequency and intensity of hurricanes will
change.68 If, as models are refined, they point to the likeli-
hood of increasing storm intensity, this should be cause for
concern, particularly when added to the mounting pressures
on coral reefs from marine and terrestrial pollution and
coral disease.

Sea-Level Rise

Over the next century, mean global sea level is predicted to
rise about 3 to 10 cm per decade.69 The Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that such
rates of sea-level rise would not pose a major threat to coral
reefs.70 Healthy reef ecosystems have the potential to
respond to a rising sea through reef accretion, that is, the
upward growth of the reef as corals lay down their calcium
skeletons.71 However, the situation is less clear for reefs
already degraded by or under stress from other threats, as
well as for associated seagrass and mangroves growing in
low-lying coastal zones.72

Reduced Calcification Potential

Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are
beginning to alter the chemistry of the shallow ocean.73
Higher concentrations of dissolved CO2 increase the acidity
of this surface water, in turn affecting the solubility of other


compounds. One such compound, known as aragonite, is
used by the corals in reef building. Aragonite levels are cur-
rently falling, and reductions in the ability of corals to build
reefs by laying down their limestone skeletons are becoming
evident. This points to a slowdown or reversal of reef build-
ing and loss of reef in the future.74

Outlook for Reefs under a Changing Climate

Most scientists agree that corals' ability to adapt to shifting
environmental conditions resulting from climate change
depends on the severity of other human stresses, such as
overfishing, coastal development, and land-based sources of
pollution. Reef areas not subject to these other threats are
likely to be more resilient than those that are heavily
stressed. Management efforts can be directed toward reduc-
ing localized stress. A key management tool will be the sit-
ing of marine protected areas (MPAs). Ideal areas for
prospective MPAs include those that might be resistant to
coral bleaching (because of depth, greater water circulation,
or shading) or areas with good potential for recovery
(downstream from a coral larvae source). International
efforts under agreements such as the Convention on
Biological Diversity and the Framework Convention on
Climate Change can leverage political and financial respons-
es to the problems.7 At the same time, curbing excessive
CO2 emissions is essential to reducing the long-term threat.

DISEASE

Perhaps the most profound and widespread changes in
Caribbean coral reefs in the past 30 years have been caused
by diseases of corals and other organisms. In recent decades,
an unprecedented array of new diseases has emerged, severe-
ly affecting coral reefs. Most observations of coral reef dis-
ease reported across the globe have come from the
Caribbean region.76 Prominent among these reports have
been the Caribbean-wide die-off of the long-spined black
sea urchin Diadema antillarum;77 widespread losses of major
reef-building corals (staghorn and elkhorn) due to white
band disease;78 the current widespread occurrence of
aspergillosis, a fungal disease that attacks some species of
gorgonians (sea fans);79 and numerous outbreaks of white
plague.80


36 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN









The Global Coral Disease Database81 includes 23 dif-
ferently named diseases and syndromes affecting corals
alone in the Caribbean. Three of these diseases-black band
disease, white band disease, and white plague-account for
two-thirds of the reports in the database and affect at least
38 species of corals across the Caribbean (see Map 8). The
impact of coral disease varies according to a variety of fac-
tors; a disease can cause different levels of mortality in dif-
ferent years at the same location.
The reasons for this sudden emergence and rapid spread
of reef diseases throughout the Caribbean are not well
understood. Diseases have been observed all across the
Caribbean, even on the most remote coral reefs, far from


human stresses.82 Almost nothing is known about the causal
agents; indeed, pathogens have been identified for only three
of the 23 diseases observed in the region.83 Linkages to other
sources of stress to reefs (e.g., sedimentation or pollution) are
poorly understood and the role of human activities in bring-
ing these diseases into the region is also unclear. At least one
pathogen seems related to desertification in Africa, blown
with dust across the Atlantic,84 while the pathogen responsi-
ble for the die-off of the long-spined sea urchin may have
been transported into the region via the Panama Canal in
ballast water from ships.85 More research and integrated
environmental monitoring are needed to better understand
and help predict this major, widespread threat to coral reefs.


MAP 8


United States


Bermuda


Kpi -i.~4
;, r W


GULF I I" O M 1 \ I (


/



SGuatemala

Guatemala


Honduras -*
1-11 Ki


Bahamas


---. Turks and
S .ub ,Caicos Islands
IL ..% I


Ca J


Jamaica


CA


ATLANTIC
OCEA ".


Dominican
H i"r\ Republic
"H -- -, 1 1 A
..-.-- -7
Rico C
52, 's

R I B31 A N A N A a A
-

< ^
.,- ^ -& *


ma.y


Reported observation
of disease
* White Band o 100 20o Miles
* White Plague
* Black Band a 10o 20o Gmuters


U--~
N 7 ,--- N-
Panama
Wx~


Most reported observations of coral disease worldwide have been in the Caribbean. Three diseases occurring widely in Caribbean
coral are black band, white band, and white plague. Reporting of disease occurrences is limited by the distribution of monitoring
activities in the region.
Source: Global Coral Disease Database, United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 2001.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 37


Mexico


SColombia .


V


Venaucla


"
"~"..^~*
i


->














































A- *''


n




'3


$.


I z
S :|E |


wli~r^ i
i

38 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


2






ViP


U:
N


r 5' 1-
<* ,

* A


) J







A, -
s ( z,


=
-,
=.":
F_
i
~_t


I ~_ ___


0
0
% .


:;-377













= -
iEI I I I 1


000i CO n I 0f 0


CL




E

3 - = ;.0 i C5 d 0 co0 0 C ^ N fl 'N 00i I- 0~ C'J 0 r -o 00i 00 COi C'J C5i C5i cfl CO c 'i
bD 0 0






03P Q- 3
= z















o ---- --- --- -



: 00
w = 0 00 00 07 0 O 0 | O 0 C 0 C C CO C 0=
I -















c;






iijmm
000
-0 -L 0 fl C N l0 lC I - -' C l l - 0 - 0 -


- 0 N-EC - - -
0 =


0 0 h 0h h 0 30 L













SO ____ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _
I



g = cO fl 00 fl0 0 C5 C o r-i C'J C5 C'J i C' i CO I = CO N -O O Cn -- r C 'o or Lo a5 0 5 -0 C5 m
ON- 00 m hmm 3 m0 L

O a m3 1 CO C53N 0I flm 01 C5i -n fl (0 00 -1 31 IN II 00 fl fli C53 0 0C ( 0 h









=T- 0 L3 0 OO 3 00 C3 C0~ C5 00 fL CO 00 (0 000


-0 0




Q = (0 T C ^ 3CT 3

0= =
II









U = CC 0 Lo 03 [ Cl C3 0C 0 C |n 03 C 0 00 0 0 I CO 0 03 -~ fl 0 00 0 0~~ 0 ( 0 CC -
- CO ro CO LCo- COi i- Oo CN

0 0 0 f)1 0I -)ON~ 0 C N 0 C' 01 00 0 0 I 0l (0 'J0 0 00 N3 (01 0ol N 0 0 0 0 00r N I0






C 0




cS 'VI 0=0 4( ~~ '(
010 _cl i-o l hi< co r co 1m011I01 l 01r .-< hirr oi ^-i 01i .-<' mlr ir





0 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


0 -= aO^
an =


E E,
1o
iim
0 0 i =


oCU

E =
=A d


o





















-0
= .







o






o











E 5u











I i .2 .2:


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 3


I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I


I ~ 0c I [ - C








INTEGRATING THREATS: THE REEFS AT RISK THREAT INDEX
Around the world, but perhaps especially in the Caribbean,
coral reefs are threatened from a multitude of sources. Quite
often, a reef is sufficiently robust to survive a low level of
threat from a single source. In many cases, however, reefs
are subject to multiple stresses, and the combined, low-level
impacts from multiple sources can drive reefs into steep
decline. One of the best examples of such combined
impacts can be seen in Jamaica's reefs. (See Box 2.)
Of the four threats modeled in this study, the most per-
vasive direct human threat to coral reefs is overfishing,
threatening over 60 percent of the region's reefs. Pressures
associated with coastal development and sedimentation and
pollution from inland sources each threaten about one-third
of the region's coral reefs. About 15 percent of the region's
reefs are threatened by marine-based sources of pollution.
(See Figure 2for a summary of these threats.)


E 2. R S AT RK B C II


I LOW
MEDIUM
I HIGH
I VERY HIGH


When these four threats are integrated into the Reefs at
Risk Threat Index, nearly two-thirds of the region's coral
reefs are threatened by human activities (about 20 percent
at medium threat, one-third at high threat, and 10 percent
at very high threat).86 (See Map 9.) Areas with high threat
levels include the Eastern Caribbean, most of the Southern
Caribbean, Greater Antilles, Florida Keys, Yucatan, and the
nearshore portions of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and
the Southwest Caribbean. In areas identified as threatened,
degradation of coral-including reduced live coral cover,


increased algal cover, or reduced species diversity-may
have already occurred. If not, it is considered likely to occur
within the next 5 to 10 years.
In addition to these chronic threats, for which we were
able to develop indicators, coral reefs are also affected by the
currently less predictable threats of coral disease and coral
bleaching. As ocean temperatures warm, increased incidence
of coral bleaching can be expected, with some associated
mortality. Also, trends over the last decade indicate that
coral diseases may persist, or even proliferate-often after
coral bleaching events, in response to new pathogens, or
possibly in high-pollution or sediment-stressed areas. Taken
together, coral diseases and bleaching are significant, region-
wide threats that should be taken into account when con-
sidering the Reefs at Risk results. All told, the highly valued
coastal resources of the region are severely endangered.
No coral reef is guaranteed immunity from the threats
of bleaching, disease, or plunder from excessive fishing, but
some reefs are at lower risk from land-based threats and
from coastal fishing pressures. In several parts of the
Caribbean, the analysis identified extensive tracts of reefs as
being under low threat from the human activities evaluated.
These include areas in the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos
Islands, archipelagos off Colombia and Nicaragua, and
some reefs off Cuba, Belize, and Mexico. Such areas may
still have suffered from coral disease and bleaching, and
some have also been targeted for the capture of high-value
fish stocks, but overall they are likely to be in a relatively
healthy state and may be important refuges for the wider
region. Table 2 presents summary statistics by country for
each threat examined.
The cumulative threat to reefs from these four cate-
gories demonstrates that, to manage development in the
coastal zone and all the complex issues associated with it, a
holistic, cross-sectoral approach is ideal. In Chapter 6, we
discuss some of these management needs and the principle
of Integrated Coastal Zone Management. In Chapter 4,
threats around nine Caribbean sub-regions are examined in
more detail.


40 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN

































C oral reefs in the Caribbean have undergone massive
changes over the past several d.-- id as they evolved
from a coral-dominated to an algal-dominated state.88
Evidence of decline is widespread. Surveys conducted
between 1998 and 2000 under the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid
Reef Assessment (AGRRA see Appendix C) found coral dis-
eases throughout most of the Wider Caribbean, with very
few areas exhibiting no occurrences.89 AGRRA surveys
reported few sightings of large-bodied snappers and
groupers, and Reef Check surveys recorded an absence of
Nassau Groupers in over 80 percent of the sites surveyed
across the region.90 They were once among the commonest
fishes of the Caribbean. This strongly suggests the entire
region is overfished for many heavily targeted species.91 Reef
Check surveys have also identified sewage pollution as a
problem in nearly one-quarter of sites surveyed since
1998.92 Monitoring of live coral cover by the Caribbean
Coastal Marine Productivity Program (CARICOMP see
Appendix C) between 1993 and 2001 found declines in live
coral on nearly two-thirds of sites for which time series data
were available.93 However, the AGRRA program found a
mean live coral cover of 26 percent on sites around 10 m
depth, suggesting that despite significant loss from many
large-scale disturbances, considerable coral remains.94


Chapter 3 examined threats to Caribbean coral reefs,
on a region-wide, threat-by-threat basis. This chapter exam-
ines these threats, along with available information on con-
dition and protection of reefs, in greater geographic detail
for nine Caribbean sub-regions. (See Map 10.) Figure 3 pro-
vides a summary by sub-region of reef area and the Reefs at
Risk Threat Index. More detailed country profiles-includ-
ing information on status of, threats to, and protection of
coral reefs for 35 Caribbean countries and territories-are
available online at http://reefsatrisk.wri.org.





S Bermuda


SGulf of Mexico

__-. i"
Eastern
S',t\\,rm' Trj'arer.iuIalkt - C
.. _, \. '(".ylbhean"' ,ba 't.^
S$oute outh
jSouthwestern \ (ribea
C Caribbean .
-^ < L-


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 41









R IO B R


Baha
GreaterAn
Eastern Carlb


S60


40 -

m LOW
20 MEDIUM

SI VRHIGH
IUVERY HIGH


I

I




0 2,000 4,(


I -


Total reef area approx. 26,000 km2


00 6,000 8,000 10,
REEF AREA (sq km)


BAHAMIAN

The Bahamian Banks form an extensive archipelago of
islands, cays, and sandbanks separated by deep ocean chan-
nels, extending more than 800 km from Southern Florida
to Hispaniola. The northern and central islands rest on two
large bank systems-the Little Bahama Bank and the Great
Bahama Bank-with water depths of less than 10 m.95
Further south and east are a number of smaller banks and
isolated islands, with the politically separate Turks and
Caicos Islands (TCI), consisting of the Caicos Bank and
Turks Bank, at the southeastern end.96
The reefs there are extensive. There are thousands of
small patch reefs, dozens of narrow fringing reefs, and some
bank barrier reefs, such as the Andros Barrier Reef. The
reefs are most prominent on the windward north and east-
ern sides of the islands and cays.97
The Bahamas and TCIs possess some of the least
threatened coral reefs in the Caribbean region. Only about
30 percent of the sub-region's coral reefs were identified as
threatened by overfishing, and this is the only threat identi-
fied in most areas. Coastal development and pollution from
marine-based sources threaten few coral reefs in the area,
and watershed-based threats rated low, owing to the narrow,
flat topography of most of the islands. This is reflected in
observations of reef condition, which has declined in waters
off the more developed and populated islands, but is gener-
ally good in isolated offshore banks.98


In the Bahamas, the commercial and export fishery is
well-developed. In addition, a recreational and local con-
sumption fishery" targets the commercially valuable lobster,
conch, grouper, snapper, and jacks.100 The populations of
grouper and conch both show evidence of overfishing.101
Reef fishes are little exploited in the TCIs, and fishing pres-
sure on herbivores is almost nonexistent. There are concerns
about poaching by foreign fishers, mostly from Haiti and
the Dominican Republic, using illegal methods. Declines in
lobster and conch populations are causing some fishers to
turn to reef fish as an alternative resource, which may
change the fishery situation.102
Growing tourism has led to localized problems-such
as waste management,103 destruction of coastal habitats for
hotel and marina development, and diver damage to





100


80


60


40

2 I LOW
20
_- MEDIUM
SI HIGH
0 I= VERY HIGH


42 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN








corals04--on some of the islands. Several large develop-
ments and the likely introduction of cruise ships to the
TCIs threaten the viability of the national parks, nature
reserves, and sanctuaries adjacent to these areas.
Concerned about the continued degradation of its
marine resources, the government of the Bahamas was a
pioneer in reef protection, establishing its first Land and Sea
National Park in 1958 in Exuma Cays. The park became a
no-take fisheries replenishment area in 1986, the first of its
kind in the Caribbean. The reserve supports a concentration
of conch 31 times greater than outside the park.105 This
success contributed to the government's announcement of a
policy decision in 2000 to protect 20 percent of the
Bahamian marine ecosystem and 10 new national parks
were established in 2002. In the TCIs, a Conservation Fund
was recently established to provide monetary support for
management, financed by a 1 percent share of all tourist
and accommodations taxes.

GREATER ANTILLES

Located in the center of the Caribbean Sea are the islands of
the Greater Antilles: Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica,
Hispaniola (made up of Haiti and the Dominican
Republic), and Puerto Rico. This study estimates that coral
reefs cover over 8,600 sq km within the Greater Antilles.
More than one-third of them are located within the territo-
rial waters of Cuba, which has a broad shelf area and chains
of offshore islands and coral cays. The narrower shelves of
the other islands support mainly fringing and small barrier

REF AT RIS IN CUB


20 LOW
M MEDIUM
I VERYHIGH
0 VERY HIGH


reefs. Jamaica and the Dominican Republic also have
important offshore bank reefs.
Overall, we rate more than two-thirds of Cuba's reefs as
threatened, with over 35 percent at high threat. Overfishing
is the main threat to Cuba's reefs, with over 65 percent of
the reefs threatened. Landing statistics for the commercially
important snapper and grouper indicate decreasing annual
catches and decreasing maximum size over the last 20 years
due to unsustainable fishing practices.106 However, Cuba's
coral reef fishery is probably in better condition than those
of other Caribbean countries.107 About one-quarter of reefs
were rated as threatened by sedimentation and pollution
from inland sources, around one-fifth by coastal develop-
ment, and fewer than 10 percent by marine-based sources.
The low sedimentation and coastal development threats are
mainly due to the offshore location of many reefs, outside
the influence of land-based sources of pollution,108 and to
Cuba's relatively undeveloped tourist industry. Remote reefs
(e.g., around the southern archipelagos) are in very good
condition but, near large population centers such as
Havana, signs of decline are evident, with low coral cover,
overgrowth by algae, and disease outbreaks.109
The reefs in the Cayman Islands are managed under
strict marine conservation laws establishing a zoned system
of MPAs. However, this has not prevented overfishing of
conch and lobster, and increased human usage is a major
concern.110 The analysis found an estimated 80 percent of
the reefs are threatened, predominantly from overfishing as
well as coastal development (resulting from population


S T K N E C I


I LOW
MEDIUM
I HIGH
I VERY HIGH


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 43








growth and intensive tourism, including impacts from cruise
ships).111 AGRRA surveys in 1999 and 2000 found the reefs
to be in generally good condition, though with some obvi-
ous signs of impact, particularly on the more developed
island, and focus of the dive industry, Grand Cayman.112
Over 80 percent of the reefs in Jamaica, Haiti, and the
Dominican Republic are identified as threatened by human
activities, with one-third under very high threat. The major-
ity of reefs are threatened from multiple sources.
Widespread unemployment, densely populated coastal
zones, easy access to the reefs, and narrow shelf areas mean
the reef resources have been heavily used to provide liveli-
hoods and sustenance. Unfortunately, this open and unreg-
ulated access has reduced the overall productivity of the
reefs for all. Illegal fishing activities are common, and capac-
ity for enforcement of regulations is limited.113 However,
Jamaica is developing new regulations for reef fisheries and
existing regulations for the Pedro Bank conch export fishery
allow it to remain open under the Convention of
International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). In
contrast, the international trade in conch from Haiti and
the Dominican Republic is banned under CITES.
In Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, huge growth
in the tourism industry has generated some alternative
employment opportunities, but not enough to reduce fish-
ing pressure. Also, mass tourism brings its own suite of
problems, with swelling coastal populations and unmanaged
coastal development threatening an estimated 70 percent of
reefs.


R SA IS IO


I LOW
MEDIUM
I HIGH
I VERY HIGH


R F A RS I P R I


I LOW
E MEDIUM
I HIGH
I VERY HIGH


Similar tourism-related pressures, compounded by
rapid urban and industrial development over the past 40
years, threaten more than half of Puerto Rican coral reefs.114
Both the permanent population and tourist traffic have
grown rapidly,115 and nearly 60 percent of the people live
within 10 km of the coast. (See Appendix A, Table A3.)
Overfishing threatens over 90 percent of Puerto Rico's
coral reefs. Puerto Rican reef fisheries have plummeted dur-
ing the last two decades and show the classic signs of over-
fishing.116 Reported fish landings fell 69 percent between
1979 and 1990.17 This analysis identified sedimentation
and pollution from inland sources as threatening over 60
percent of the commonwealth's reefs; coastal development as
threatening over one-half, with marine-based threats jeop-
ardizing about one-quarter. Overall, over 90 percent of
Puerto Rico's reefs were rated as threatened, with over 80
percent at high risk and therefore among the most threat-
ened in the Caribbean. Most common diseases have been
observed on the degraded reefs surrounding the main island
and have caused considerable damage to depths of 30 m.118
Except for the Caymans, all the island nations rely
heavily on agriculture for livelihoods and export earnings
from sugar, coffee, bananas, or tobacco. Land clearing and
poor agricultural practices have led to increased erosion.
Near the mouths of rivers, sedimentation from soil erosion
threatens many reefs. Puerto Rico, with its more diversified
economy, is less reliant on agriculture.


44 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN








Lacking political and financial support, protection of
the reef resource is limited in Cuba, Jamaica, and the
Dominican Republic, and nonexistent in Haiti. Puerto Rico
has put natural reserves under government jurisdiction, but
these reserves afford coral reefs only slight protection, and
effective management is limited by lack of laws regulating
fishing activities and recreation.119

EASTERN CARIBBEAN

Extending from the U.S. Virgin Islands south to Grenada,
the Eastern Caribbean sub-region encompasses one of the
world's most compact aggregations of nations and
autonomous territories.120 The island chain consists mostly
of mountainous and forested volcanic islands (from Saba
700 km south to Grenada), typically with small marine
shelves, as well as a number of flatter coralline islands, with
wider shelf areas (U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands,
Anguilla, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Antigua and Barbuda,
and Barbados). Reef development has been most extensive
along the sheltered western shorelines of the drier limestone
islands. This study estimates a coral reef area of about 2,600
sq km in the Eastern Caribbean sub-region.
The analysis identified overfishing as the most pervasive
threat to reefs within the Eastern Caribbean, affecting
almost all reefs as evidenced by the absence of larger fish in
the catch and scarcity of some of the larger species.121
Though largely artisanal or small-scale commercial, fishing
is an important activity on most of these islands.122 Easy
access to the reef resources, high population densities on



REF A IK NTE ATENCRIBA


I LOW
I MEDIUM
I HIGH
I VERYHIGH


ICoral diseases, such as white band, have affected reefs throughout the Caribbean.


many islands, and scarcity of other employment opportuni-
ties contribute significantly to the threat from overfishing.
Second in importance is coastal development, identified
as threatening more than 70 percent of the sub-region's
reefs. The development of the necessary infrastructure to
support high population densities and tourism growth has
resulted in coastal degradation through increased siltation
from land reclamation, dredging and construction, and pol-
lution from sewage outfalls. Also, tourist activities such as
yachting have been cited as contributing to the degradation
of reefs through anchor damage and local pollution.
Historically, many of the islands depended on agricul-
ture for export earnings, mainly from sugarcane and
bananas. Although agriculture has been surpassed by
tourism in terms of earnings,123 it is still important, and
poor land-use practices and excessive deforestation have led
to increased sedimentation and pollution in the coastal
zone. Sedimentation and pollution from inland sources
were identified as threatening nearly one-half of the reefs in
the Eastern Caribbean sub-region.
A number of MPAs have been established in the
Eastern Caribbean, and many proposed, but inadequate
funding, poor enforcement, and lack of local involvement
in the management process have limited the effectiveness of
resource protection, particularly against overexploitation.
However, a few MPAs are outstanding for their effective
planning and management of the reef resource, including
Saba Marine Park and St. Eustatius Marine Park in the


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 45






















I LOW
MEDIUM
I HIGH
I VERY HIGH


Netherlands Antilles, and the Soufriere Marine
Management Area, St. Lucia. (See Box 3.)
Almost 600 sq km of coral reefs are found around the
U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Overfishing is the main threat to
reefs, with over 85 percent under high threat. Effects of inten-
sive fishing are evident and fisheries are close to collapse-
even those inside MPAs are deteriorating.124 Marine-based
pollution is also a significant threat, due to the many millions
of visitors to the parks who arrive each year on cruise ships or
smaller boats.125 Growing tourism contributes to coastal devel-
opment, and wastewater disposal poses a particular problem.
Intense visitation of some reefs has also caused damage.
Frequent natural disturbances take their toll on reefs as
well. Eight hurricanes have swept across the USVIs since
1979. Diseases have ravaged the corals over the last three
decades,126 and periodic bleaching episodes, particularly in
1998, all contribute to the overall stress and degradation of
reefs here. The hard coral cover is declining. At the Buck
Island National Monument, for example, the cover dropped
from 85 percent in 1976 to 5 percent in 1988 because of
hurricanes and disease.127

SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN

On the continental shelf of the Southern Caribbean, reef
development is severely inhibited by upwelling and by
freshwater and sediment runoff.128 The best developed and
more diverse coral reefs are found around the chain of
islands and archipelagos running parallel to the continental
coast: Curacao and Bonaire (under the jurisdiction of the


I LOW
I MEDIUM
I HIGH
I VERY HIGH


Netherlands) and the Venezuelan island systems of Islas las
Aves, Islas los Roques, La Orchilla, and La Blanquilla. Reef
development around Trinidad is slight, largely due to the
influence of the Orinoco River, which delivers huge vol-
umes of sediment-laden fresh water.129
This analysis did not identify any reefs around the off-
shore Venezuelan islands as threatened, due to low popula-
tion pressure and little development. However, fishing and a
growing tourism industry represent potential threats.130 In
contrast, human activities, particularly artisanal fishing, are
estimated to threaten all the reefs around the offshore
islands of Aruba and Tobago. Marine-based pollution is also
a threat on Curacao and Aruba, where large oil refineries
have been operating since the early 1920s. The threat from
coastal development on Bonaire comes mainly from the
direct and indirect impacts of increasing dive tourism.131
The Bonaire Marine Park is a model for reef protection.
Established in 1979 and declared a national park in 1999, it
is protected under island legislation and has been under con-
tinuously active management since 1991. (See Box 3.)
Reefs along the continental Venezuelan coast are sub-
ject to pressure from overfishing, coastal development, and
some port facilities. Deforestation has increased sediment
loads to coastal waters,132 and all reefs along the continental
coast were identified as under high threat from land-based
sources. Although most Venezuelan coastal coral reefs are
located within national parks with protective regulations,
inadequate staffing and logistical and financial capacity pre-
vent full enforcement.133


46 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


REFSA RSKI T E .. IR I ILA D


REEFS AT RISK IN THE SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN









BOX 3M N


To gain a better understanding of the actual protection afforded reefs
in the region, the Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean Project asked experts
to evaluate the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
Particularly with the growth of tourism and fisheries in coral reef areas,
MPAs are an important management tool for conserving coral reefs.
Many Caribbean nations have established parks or protected areas to
safeguard marine biodiversity while helping to maintain economically
important marine resources. The Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean Project
identified 285 designated MPAs across the 35 states and territories of
the Caribbean region (see AppendixA, TableA5).
Because compiling detailed information on a region-wide basis is
very difficult, the MPAs were assessed on only four broad criteria: exis-
tence of management activity, existence of a management plan, avail-
ability of resources, and extent of enforcement. Combined, these criteria
were used to generate a simple measure of management effectiveness.
Of the 285 parks, only 6 percent were rated as effectively managed and
an additional 13 percent were judged to have partially effective man-
agement. Nearly half were rated as having an inadequate level of man-
agement and, therefore, offered little protection to the resources they
were designed to protect. The level of management was unknown for
about one-third. This lack of information most likely reflects a defi-
ciency in human and financial resources. Thus, although about 20 per-
cent of the region's coral reefs are contained within MPAs,b only about 5
percent of the region's reefs are within MPAs with effective or partially
effective management.
Common reasons for MPA failure are lack of long-term financial
support and a lack of support from the local community, which can
usually be traced to a lack of local involvement in planning and a fail-
ure to share financial or other benefits from protection. Sustainable
financing for MPAs must be developed if they are to function well in the
long term.' Only a handful of parks in the Caribbean directly generate
income. For example, Bonaire Marine Park introduced an annual diver
admission fee of US$10 in 1992, which currently raises 60 percent of
the park's budget, and Saba Marine Park raises 70 percent of its
income through diver fees. Revenues from a yacht-mooring system in
the British Virgin Islands (BVI) exceeded US$200,000 in 2002, which
allows the BVI Marine Conservation Program to be completely self-
sustaining.d


Management Effectiveness of Caribbean MPAs


Number of MPAs in the region is
approximately 285.



Protection of the Caribbean's Coral Reefs


Reefs n MPAs


Reefs in MPAs rated
as partially effective, 3%

Reefs in MPAs rated as
inadequate, 9%


Reefs n MPAs


Area of reefs in the region is
approximately 26,000 sq km.


Notes:
a. J.A. Dixon, L. Fallon Scura, and T. van't Hof. 1993. "Meeting Ecological
and Economic Goals: Marine Parks in the Caribbean." Ambio 22 (2-3):
117-125.
b. The scale of the data and the degree of completeness of the MPA data set
limit the analysis. Many MPAs are represented only by points, not their
actual spatial boundaries, so their extent had to be approximated. Thus,
this analysis provides only a rough estimate based upon the best available
data.
c. B. Kelleher, C. Bleakley, and W Wells, A Global Representative System of
Marine Protected Areas. Volume II: Wider Caribbean, West Afica and South
Atlantic (Washington DC: The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
Authority, The World Bank and the World Conservation Union (IUCN),
1995).
d. J.C. Smith Abbott (Director, BVI National Parks Trust), personal com-
munication, 12 January 2004.


s outside of
MPAs, 80%


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 47


II .


,








SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN
Large volumes of fresh water from extensive mainland water
systems flow into the coastal waters of the Southwestern
Caribbean, and therefore reef development close to shore is
generally poor. Localized areas of significant reef develop-
ment are found in the central Nicaraguan shelf (Miskito
Cays and the Corn Islands),134 off the Panamanian coast
(the Bocas del Toro and San Bias archipelagos),135 and in
the Colombian oceanic archipelago of San Andres and
Providencia,136 located more than 700 km from the
Colombian continental coast.
The Nicaraguan shelf is the broadest in the Caribbean,
and most reefs around offshore cays and islands escape
direct continental influences. Overfishing is the predomi-
nant threat to Nicaragua's reefs, with about 15 percent iden-
tified as threatened. Threats to reefs from land-based
sources and marine-based sources are low. The only inhab-
ited islands are the Corn Islands toward the south, where
high population density, coastal development, and overfish-
ing are affecting the reefs. The islands contribute signifi-
cantly to the Nicaraguan lobster and scalefish export
fishery.137
Farther south along the continental coast toward Costa
Rica, Panama, and Colombia, sedimentation is the preva-
lent stressor, threatening all but a few reefs around some
small Colombian coastal islands. Extensive and indiscrimi-
nate deforestation and poor agricultural practices in inland
watersheds have increased runoff and erosion. Uncontrolled


I LOW
MEDIUM
I HIGH
I VERY HIGH


tourist activity is a large and growing problem for many
continental areas. Marine-based pollution is harming
Panamanian reefs in the west around the Bocas del Toro
archipelago; however, these reefs still hold some of the most
extensive stands of elkhorn coral remaining in the
Caribbean.138
Some of the best reefs in Panama are found in the
Kuna-Yala (San Bias) Reserve, managed independently of
the government by the indigenous Kuna since 1938.139 A
unique threat not captured in the Reefs at Risk analysis,
however, is the traditional Kuna practice of coral mining
and landfilling, which significantly modified some reefs in
the area over decades.140 Growing tourism has further
encouraged the Kuna to extract corals to sell as souvenirs.141
About two-thirds of Colombia's coral reefs in the
Caribbean are found within a series of oceanic islands (San
Andres, Providencia, Santa Catalina), atolls, and banks that
make up the San Andres and Providencia archipelago. Only
the three major islands are permanently inhabited; tourists
and fishers visit the cays, atolls, and banks occasionally.
Overfishing and coastal development are the main threats to
reefs around the populated islands. Human pressure is a
particular problem on San Andres, where a resident popula-
tion of more than 60,000 and a booming tourist industry
inhabit a surface area of only 25 sq km, making this the
most densely populated island in the Caribbean.142 Reefs
close to high-density coastal populations are also threatened
by discharges of untreated sewage into coastal waters.


REEF ATRIS IN HE AN NDRS AN PRVIDNCI


I LOW
MEDIUM
I HIGH
I VERY HIGH


48 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN








Protection along the continental coast is minimal. Parks
have been established in each country, but national legisla-
tion and institutional frameworks are weak, and funding for
monitoring and enforcement is limited. The archipelago of
San Andres and Providencia was declared the Seaflower
Biosphere Reserve in 2000 by UNESCO's Man and
Biosphere (MAB) Pr..gr --' ' Although extractive or dis-
turbing activities are now regulated, infrastructure and
resources are still scarce for effective control.

WESTERN CARIBBEAN

The Western Caribbean subregion includes one of the
longest reef systems in the region. The Mesoamerican Reef
stretches from the Mexican Caribbean coast of the Yucatan
Peninsula to the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras. This
reef system includes a near continuous barrier reef, which
runs for 220 km off the coast of Belize.
Overfishing is the most pervasive threat to reefs in the
Mesoamerican reef. Off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the
Caribbean reefs have been subject to intense artisanal fish-
ing since the 1960s,144 when this formerly underdeveloped
and isolated coast was opened to the pressures of modern
development.145 In Belize, there is evidence of overfishing
by small-scale local fishers and industrial fishing fleets.146
Intensive fishing in Honduras has affected the reef popula-
tions around the Bay Islands, and fishers also travel to
remote offshore banks instead of fishing the heavily
exploited fringing reefs.147
Coastal development is rapid, with tourism burgeoning
in many coastal areas. The Mexican state of Quintana Roo
has become a very successful resort area and is now the
main tourist destination within the country. Coastal devel-
opment is spreading quickly southward along the coast, and
the government plans to build a huge, high-density tourist
resort complex extending down to the Belizean border."14 In
Belize, larger cays and tourist centers, like Amergis Caye
and San Pedro Town, are growing rapidly as a result of
tourist-based economic activity.149
Sedimentation is a problem for reefs near the coasts,
particularly off southern Belize and continental Honduras,
where the intensification of agriculture and logging over the
last few decades has resulted in increased erosion. Nutrient


I LOW
MEDIUM
I HIGH
I VERY HIGH


pollution is also a problem due to runoff of fertilizer from
banana and citrus plantations, from southern Belize down
through Guatemala and Honduras. However, standards for
minimizing the environmental impact of banana cultivation
are being encouraged through initiatives such as the Better
Banana Project.150
Reefs in the Mesoamerican reef, particularly near
Belize, were severely damaged by two large-scale, natural
disturbances in 1998. A bleaching event, coinciding with
high sea-surface temperatures,151 was followed by Hurricane
Mitch, a Category 5 storm. Bleaching caused catastrophic
coral loss in the lagoonal reefs of Belize,152 while the hurri-
cane caused widespread coral destruction in fore reefs and
outer atoll reefs.153 The full consequences of these events
will take years to emerge.
The Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and
Institute is a model of integrated coastal management for
the region. The country's system of 13 MPAs is well-estab-
lished, with most under active co-management with local
NGOs.154 Monitoring across the whole sub-region will
increase under the World Bank/GEF Mesoamerican Barrier
Reef System project, which has developed a standardized
monitoring protocol for the region.155


GULF OF MEXICO

Reef development in the Gulf of Mexico is extremely lim-
ited due to the large inputs of sediment-laden freshwater
from the North American continent. In U.S. waters, there


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 49


REFSATRSKINTE ESAMRCA RE









REF AT RIS IN TH UFO E IC

100


80


60
o

40


20 "
I LOW
20 WI M MEDIUM
I HIGH
SI VERYHIGH


are scattered coral and reef developments; the best docu-
mented is the Flower Garden Banks, located 190 km south-
east of Galveston, Texas. In Mexican waters, isolated groups
of small formations along the southwestern Gulf, and
numerous slightly larger reefs are found along the outer
Yucatan shelf, including the very large atoll-like reef at
Alacranes in the northern Campeche Bank.156
The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
is managed and protected by the National Marine
Sanctuary Program run by the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Illegal fishing by
both commercial longliners and recreational spearfishers has
been reported in the area.15 Other threats are low, and the
coral is in excellent condition.158 The live coral cover has
changed little since 1972, averaging 47 percent in 1995 and
52 percent in 1997.159
Pressures are high on nearshore Mexican reefs, such as
those near the large port of Veracruz, due to urban, agricul-
tural, and industrial wastes carried in the outflow of major
river systems.160 In the 1970s, disease caused massive mor-
tality of Acropora coral in the southwestern Gulf and around
Alcarnes.161 In addition, Mexican reefs close to the shore
and to urban areas have been exploited by fishers for hun-
dreds of years and more recently by recreational users.
Though not captured in this analysis, even the reefs farther
offshore on the Campeche Bank are under pressure from
fishers who navigate up to 300 km of open ocean to fish in
outboard motor boats 24 feet long and equipped with just a


small ice chest.162 Also not captured in the analysis is the
threat to offshore reefs from activities associated with the
Gulf's many oil fields. The threat comes from oil and gas
exploration, the associated vessel traffic, and risk of spills.


FLORIDA

Florida's coral reefs are extensive. The Florida Keys are a
chain of 822 low-lying islands. The reef tract arches 356 km
along the shallow offshore waters of the Keys, from the
683-sq km Biscayne National Park south of Miami to the
Dry Tortugas. The tract is almost continuous, and most of
it lies within the boundaries of the 9,800-sq km Florida
Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS).163
Our analysis probably understates the threat to coral
reefs in Florida. Most of these reefs are more than 4 km off-
shore and thus do not register as threatened by development
on the Keys. Also, because south Florida is very flat, the area
does not score high for watershed-based threat. The analysis
identified over 60 percent of Florida's reefs as threatened.
The decline in reef health in southeastern Florida and
the Keys is well documented. For example, live coral cover in
the FKNMS decreased by 38 percent from 1996 to 1999,
and observations of coral disease increased.164 Over the past
20 years, coral bleaching has become more frequent, lasted
longer,165 and been responsible for some of the dramatic
declines in coral cover in the sanctuary since 1997.166
The predominant threat comes from overfishing, with
almost 60 percent of reefs threatened. Serial overfishing
throughout the Keys has dramatically altered reef fish popu-


S T R IN I


I LOW
M MEDIUM
I HIGH
I VERY HIGH


50 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN
























Reef decline in the Florida Keys is well documented through extensive
monitoring.


lations. Targeted reef fish are highly exploited. In the
Florida Keys, 23 out of 35 market fish species are over-
fished,167 and 26 of 34 fish species are considered overfished
in Biscayne Bay.168 Pressure comes not only from commer-
cial fishing but also from recreational fishing in South
Florida, which has grown exponentially since 1964, with no
set limits on the number of boats allowed to fish.169 Several,
mostly very small, no-take zones have been declared in the
FKNMS to conserve dwindling fish stocks, and early results
show improvements.170
However, the greatest pressures, direct and indirect, on
the reefs of the Keys come from the millions of seasonal and
temporary visitors that swell local populations. Direct dam-
age has been documented from boat groundings and anchors
as well as divers and snorkellers who touch, kick, or stand
on corals. Indirect impacts come from sewage pollution to
nearshore waters because of increasing development and the
use of septic tanks as the sole method of wastewater treatment.
The reefs are also subject to indirect impacts from
altered freshwater flow into coastal waters. Water manage-
ment systems for flood control, agriculture, and urban water
supplies have dramatically altered freshwater flow through
the Everglades and into the ocean. Florida Bay and nearshore
waters provide critical nursery and juvenile habitat for a vari-
ety of reef species, and declines seen in these areas indirectly
affect the overall health and structure of offshore reefs.171
This freshwater also carries excess nutrients, and eutrophica-
tion of nearshore water has been documented.172


BERMUDA
Bermuda is a crescent-shaped chain of about 150 islands.
Around them grow the most northerly coral reefs in the
world, surviving because of warm water eddies from the
Gulf Stream. The most pervasive threat identified in this
analysis is from overfishing, affecting all reefs (although this
is probably overestimated since no account is taken of the
ban in the use of fish traps on Bermuda's reefs). Other
threats to reefs come from marine-based sources since
Bermuda is a popular cruise destination (over 60 percent of
the reefs are rated as threatened), and coastal development
(about half are rated as threatened). Sedimentation was not
rated as an important threat, owing to the relatively small
islands and gentle topography. The observed condition of
the reefs is fairly healthy, with few declines in live coral cover
since the early 1990s, and corals are relatively free from dis-
ease and bleaching.173


REEF AT ISK N BEMUD


I LOW
MEDIUM
I HIGH
I VERY HIGH


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 51


































healthy coral reefs confer significant economic benefits
to both coastal communities and national economies.
These benefits diminish with coral reef degradation. Key
economic and social benefits associated with healthy coral
reefs include high fishery yields, high tourism-related
incomes, protection from coastal erosion, and good nutri-
tion for coastal communities.174 The great diversity of life
on coral reefs is also being explored for bioactive com-
pounds for pharmaceuticals, and a few high-value products
have already been discovered. Degradation of these reefs
costs dearly through loss of fishing livelihoods, protein defi-
ciencies and the increased potential for malnutrition, loss of
tourism revenue, increased coastal erosion, and the need for
investment to stabilize the shoreline.
Many damaging activities-including overfishing,
dredging, or sewage discharge near reefs-occur because an
individual or group seizes an immediate benefit, without
knowing or caring about the long-term consequences.
Often, the party who gains is not the one who pays the
cost; for instance, a new development may pollute and
degrade an offshore reef, but among those who suffer are
the fishers or the divers who visited that reef. Some short-
comings in current management practices stem from inade-
quate information on the costs and benefits of different


activities and management's focus on short- rather than
long-term benefits when making decisions. Too often the
full range of social and environmental impacts associated
with proposed activities are not evaluated.175 In land-use
decisions, for example, rarely is the smothering of reefs by
sedimentation associated with land clearing considered,
much less compensated.

PURPOSE AND METHODS FOR VALUING CORAL REEF RESOURCES

Economic valuation is a powerful tool for raising awareness
about the economic value of natural resources and about
the implications of different development or management
decisions. Credible valuation studies based on reasonable
and fully disclosed assumptions can directly influence plan-
ning and development in areas adjacent to coral reefs.
Economic arguments are also potent persuaders for a wider
audience, convincing communities, politicians, and the gen
eral public of the important, lasting benefits of effective
management and protection of coral reefs.
Several studies have looked at the economic value of
coral reefs within the Caribbean.176 Some of these studies
have been narrowly defined assessments of the value of spe-
cific coral reef resources, such as the impact of a marine
protected area on revenue from dive tourism in Bonaire,177


52 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN








the effects of changes in coral reefs on fisheries production
in Jamaica,178 and the value of coral reef-related tourism in
the Florida Keys.179 Other economic valuation studies have
been broader-based attempts to quantify the diverse ecologi-
cal services or "total economic value" of coral reefs.
Estimates from these studies of the total annual economic
benefits from coral reefs have ranged from roughly
US$100,000 to US$600,000 per sq km of coral reef, the
largest share of which were associated with tourism and
recreation followed by shoreline stabilization services.180
Obviously, the economic valuation of goods and services
provided by specific coral reefs varies widely depending
upon the areas tourism potential and the nature of the
shoreline being protected.181
This chapter explores the economic value of Caribbean
coral reefs in terms of their contribution to fisheries,
tourism and recreation, and shoreline protection services.
Estimates of the current value of goods and services derived
from coral reefs are presented in terms of gross and net
annual benefits and are standardized to the year 2000.
Using the Reefs at Risk Threat Index to identify threatened
areas likely to degrade within the next 10 years, the study
estimated potential losses in the economic value of fisheries,
tourism, and shoreline protection services due to coral reef
degradation.
A number of limitations and caveats apply to this
analysis. First, it is only a preliminary exploration of the
economic value of coral reef goods and services on a region-
wide basis. Many of the statistics for this analysis were com-
piled and synthesized from the literature. However, in some
cases, particularly the value of shoreline protection services,
few data were available. This necessitated many assumptions
to extrapolate region-wide estimates of economic values.
Thus, the valuation estimates derived are the product of a
range of assumptions and are very sensitive to these assump-
tions. The assumptions incorporated in this analysis repre-
sent our best estimates, based on the available literature and
expert opinion, about the nature and magnitude of factors
that influence the economic value of coral reef goods and
services.
This analysis focuses on three important goods and
services, but omits many other values, such as bioprospect-


--c
4 1







Fisheries are a vital source of nutrition and livelihood across the region.

ing, biodiversity, and a range of non-use or "existence" val-
ues. In addition, this regional-level valuation does not cap-
ture the economic contribution of coral reefs to subsistence
livelihoods in many communities across the Caribbean.
These values can be quite significant, as coral reefs provide
critical sources of employment and food supply, often in
places where there are few or no alternatives. Converting
into monetary terms this contribution of reefs to nutrition
and livelihoods is challenging where life, health, and welfare
lie largely outside the cash economy.
The analysis approach, summarized in this chapter for
each goods and service, is provided as technical notes, avail-
able online at http://reefsatrisk.wri.org.

FISHERIES

Food production is one of the most direct and tangible ben-
efits associated with coral reefs. Reef fisheries are a vital
source of protein for millions of people living in the
Caribbean region.182 Reef fish are popular on tourist menus
and support a valuable export industry. The fisheries sector
in the Caribbean is predominantly small-scale and artisanal,
employing more than 120,000 full-time fih, r-' : and many
part-time workers. Fisheries also indirectly provide jobs for
thousands of people in processing, marketing, boat build-
ing, net making, and other support services.184
The export value of all fish, crustaceans, and mollusks
harvested in the Western Atlantic region (excluding the
United States) was approximately US$1.9 billion in
2000,185 but this includes fish, such as tuna, not directly
related to coral reefs. (Available statistics do not distinguish
the size or value of reef fish catches from other fish and


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 53









TABL 3. STIMTEDECONMIC ALUEOF ISHRE PRDCINI H CRBEN ELH RESVRU EF
DERAE BY 2015


Assumed Maximum Sustainable
Fisheries Production


Reef Area


Fisheries Production
for Caribbean


Gross Revenues


Net Revenues


Fisheries Production Scenario (mt/km2/yr) (km2) (mt/yr) (US$ million) (US$ million)
Healthy reefs (in 2000) 4 26,000 104,000 624 312
Reef degradation by 2015 (using Reefs at Risk Threat Index values)
Reefs under low threat 4 9,400 37,400
Reefs under medium threat 2.3-2.9 5,400 12,700-15,600
Reefs under high threat 0.7-1.7 11,200 7,400-19,200
Total (in 2015) 26,000 57,500-72,200 346-434 173-217
Decline/Loss 31,700-46,400 190-278 95-139


developed atWRI (2004). Te


p://reefsatrisk.wrl.or.


often fail to account for the very large sector of the fishery-
that operates outside the formal markets, notably for home
and local consumption.)
For this analysis of the economic value of coral-reef-
related fisheries, the study looked at productivity differen-
tials between fisheries located on healthy and degraded
reefs. The Reefs at Risk Threat Index was used as a proxy
for future reef condition in 2015 and estimated the area of
coral reef in each threat category (high, medium, and low).
Based on reports in the literature186 a productivity coeffi-
cient for fisheries on healthy reefs was set at a maximum
sustained yield of 4 metric ton (mt) of fish per sq km per
year. Yields from reefs rated at medium or high threat were
assumed to be significantly lower, ranging from 0.7 to 2.9
mt per sq km per year. (See Table 3.)
Using these assumptions, the study estimated maxi-
mum sustainable fisheries yield for the 26,000 sq km of
Caribbean coral reef at a little over 100,000 mt of fish per
year. This estimate focuses on reef crest, which is a smaller
area than is typically fished, but assumes that all reefs were
fully fished and are in good condition, which is better than
the current case. These assumptions are considered to
roughly offset one another. Considering reef degradation
that has already occurred or is projected to occur in the near
future, annual fisheries production could decline from
about 100,000 mt to about 60,000 to 70,000 mt by 2015,
a loss of some 30 to 45 percent from the estimated maxi-
mum catch on healthy reefs. (See Table 3.)


At current market prices (about US$6 per kg on aver-
age),'18 gross fisheries revenue from healthy Caribbean reefs
was estimated at about US$625 million per year. Gross rev-
enue from reefs degraded by 2015 was estimated to be 30
to 45 percent lower, representing potential lost gross rev-
enues of approximately US$190 million to US$280 mil-
lion.188
Net revenues from fishing-adjusted for the costs of
vessels, fuel, gear, etc.-are considerably smaller, perhaps
only 50 percent of gross revenues.189 Thus, the study esti-
mated annual net benefits of fisheries on healthy coral reefs
at about US$310 million, while annual net benefits from
fisheries on reefs degraded by 2015 could fall to around
US$175 million to US$215 million, a loss of about US$95
million to US$140 million per year. The loss of millions of
dollars worth of annual net benefits from fisheries could
have significant consequences for local areas and national
economies that rely on fishing to provide livelihoods, meet
nutritional needs, and generate export earnings.

TOURISM AND RECREATION

Tourism is the lifeblood of many Caribbean countries, con-
tributing more than 30 percent of GDP in 10 countries or
territories within the region.190 One Caribbean worker in
six is employed directly in tourism.191 In 2000, interna-
tional tourism receipts in the Caribbean region (excluding
the United States) totaled US$25.5 billion. Including sup-
porting and related services, tourism contributes a total of
about US$105 billion annually to the Caribbean economy.192


54 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


SOURCE: Es








With tourism in the Caribbean projected to grow at 5.5
percent a year over the next 10 years,193 it is an increasingly
important source of foreign exchange.
How dependent is tourism on high-quality coral reefs?
Many of the values that coral reefs provide to the Caribbean
tourism industry are indirect, such as the value of reefs as a
major contributor of sand to the region's famed beaches.
One way to gauge the economic impacts of coral reef degra-
dation on tourism is to look at a source of tourist revenue
that is directly tied to pristine, healthy coral reefs: scuba
divers.
Scuba divers look for high-quality coral reef habitats (as
indicated by live coral coverage), coral and fish diversity,
and water clarity.194 Half of all diving in the Caribbean
occurs within the region's marine protected areas, although
these reefs represent a small fraction (about 20 percent) of
all reefs within the region.195 Divers in the region have indi-
cated a willingness to pay an average of US$25 per diver per
year to keep the Caribbean coral reefs healthy.196 Multiplied
by the estimated number of divers visiting the region, this
translates into $90 million annually, which could be col-
lected as user fees or other contributions in marine pro-
tected areas. Divers make up about 10 percent of all visitors
but contribute about 17 percent of all tourism revenue.197
The average diver spends about US$2,100198 per trip to the
Caribbean, compared to US$1,200 for tourists in gen-
eral.199 In 2000, the highest tourist expenditures in the
Caribbean were reported by the Turks and Caicos Islands, a
premier dive destination with high-quality coral reefs.200
To derive an economic valuation of coral-reef-related
tourism in the Caribbean, the study estimated the number
of divers visiting the region; gross revenue associated with
these visits (using a base year of 2000), net benefits to the
local economy, and losses in revenue from dive tourism
associated with projected trends in coral reef degradation.
Market survey reports and other sources201 indicate that
about 3.6 million divers dove in the Caribbean region dur-
ing 2000-1.2 million in Florida or Texas and 2.4 million
in the rest of the Caribbean.202 The latter group accounted
for an estimated US$4.1 billion in gross expenditures.203 A
recent study of recreational reef use in southern Florida
(where most diving in the continental United States occurs)


Tourism takes many forms across the region and contributes an estimated
$105 billion annually to the Caribbean economy.

estimated US$625 million in direct expenditures associated
with diving on natural reefs in the year 2000.204 This com-
bined estimate of US$4.7 billion (i.e., US$625 million in
the U.S. and US$4.1 billion in the rest of the Caribbean
region) is a conservative one: it understates gross tourism
revenue associated with coral reefs because it does not
include the value of coral-reef-related tourism to non-diving
visitors to the Caribbean, or their contribution to the local
economy.
The study estimated net benefits to the local economy
by adjusting these estimated gross expenditures for costs
such as transportation, fuel, boat expenses, etc. (assumed to
be 65 percent of total expenditure) and then accounting for
a multiplier effect due to expenditures rippling through the
local economy (assumed to be 25 percent).205 Hence, net
annual benefits of dive tourism in the Caribbean in 2000
were estimated at US$2.1 billion (i.e., US$4.7 billion (gross
benefit) 0.35 (net return) 1.25 (multiplier)).
However, degradation of coral reefs will reduce their
value to both divers and other tourists as a result of less
interesting diving and snorkeling, less sport fishing, and
erosion of beaches. To estimate potential losses in tourism
revenue due to projected trends in coral reef degradation,
the Reefs at Risk Threat Index was used as a proxy for
future reef condition. It assumed a percentage decline in
dive tourism (ranging between 1 and 10 percent) and asso-
ciated lost revenue for reefs at medium or high threat. These
percentage declines were conservative best estimates, based
on a synthesis of expert opinion. Future gross revenue
under a "no degradation" scenario was based on assumed
continued growth of dive tourism at 7 percent per year,206


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 55


...... . ..











Gross Revenues Net Revenues
Tourism Scenario Source Assumptions (US$ million) (US$ million)
Tourism in 2000 Based on current statistics and market surveys 4,700 2,100

Tourism in 2015 Dive tourism grows at 7 percent per year 13,000 5,700
(Healthy Reefs) No loss of revenue due to reef degradation

Tourism in 2015 Degradation of reefs results in loss of divers and 12,400-12,800 5,400-5,600
(Degraded Reefs) revenue from a 7 percent annual growth trajectory
Loss is related to level of threat or degradation
Low threat no loss
Medium threat- 1-5 percent loss
High threat 4-10 percent loss
Annual Loss by 2015 200-600 100-300
due to degraded reefs
SOURCE: Estimates developed atWRI (2004). Technical notes on methods and data sources available online at http://reefsatrisk.wrl.or.


which is higher than the projected annual growth rate of
5.5 percent for general tourism. By 2015, net benefits from
diving on healthy reefs might grow to nearly US$6 billion,
but with degradation could be US$100 million to US$300
million lower, a loss of 2-5 percent. (See Table 4.)
Moreover, these estimates of region-wide loss do not
necessarily convey the disproportionately large losses that
could be expected in particular locations, as regional dive
tourism shifts away from areas with degrading reefs and
toward other locations in the Caribbean with a reputation
for healthy reefs. Many of the threats to coral reefs-such as
poor water quality and increased sedimentation-are also
considered undesirable by tourists. The local revenue losses
associated with shifts in tourism toward healthy reef areas
could be particularly harmful to specific communities and
national economies with reefs at high threat of degradation.

SHORELINE PROTECTION

Coastal ecosystems provide important shoreline stabilization
services. Coral reefs dissipate wave and storm energy and
create lagoons and sedimentary environments favorable for
the growth of mangroves and seagrasses. In turn, mangroves
and seagrasses help to bind marine and terrestrial sediments,
reducing coastal erosion and also supporting clear offshore
waters favorable to corals. Decision-makers often under-
value the shoreline protection services afforded by natural
landscapes and do not give this service appropriate weight
when evaluating development options. One reason for this


oversight is the difficulty in quantifying these services.
However, the value of shoreline protection can be approxi-
mated by estimating the cost of replacing this service
through artificial means.
In many parts of the world, efforts and investments
to stabilize shorelines artificially have been substantial.207
In Sri Lanka, for example, US$30 million was spent on
revetments, groins, and breakwaters to curtail severe
coastal erosion in areas where coral reefs had been heavily
mined.208
The vulnerability of coastal areas to erosion and storms
varies with topography, substrate, habitat types, coastal
morphology, and climate. Sandy beaches are much more
vulnerable to erosion, for example, than are rocky shore-
lines. In the Caribbean, hurricanes and tropical storms are a
major cause of acute erosion. Increased development in
coastal areas often amplifies erosion and storm risk in two
ways. First, the destruction of natural habitats (notably
mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs, but also coastal vege-
tation) exposes coastal sediments to greater movement, and
hence to erosion and loss. Second, the development of the
physical infrastructure to protect areas can itself enhance
erosion. For example, the building of sea defenses and the
canalization of water courses often leads to changed patterns
of coastal water movements, with resultant erosion in adja-
cent areas. Studies of changing beach profiles in the Eastern
Caribbean showed that between 1985 and 1995, 70 percent
of monitored beaches eroded.209 Antigua, the British Virgin


56 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN









R S IN TE CN IN 2100


Value for Reef-Related Shoreline
Protection Services


Development Definition of Development Coastline (US$ per km of coastline)a (US$ million)
Low Fewer than 100 people within 5 km 29 2,000-20,000 10-30
Medium Between 100 and 600 people or a 27 30,000-60,000 120-150
dive center located within 5 km
High More than 600 people within 5 km 44 100,000-1,000,000 620-2000
TOTAL 100 2,000-1,000,000 750-2180
SOURCE: Estimates developed at WRI (20041. Technical notes on methods and data sources available online at httD://reefsatr sk.wr.or0 .


NOTES:
a. Because only a few shore
High = 75 percent at low


e nign extreme OT value, we oeve
value ranee.


ents are lkely
25 percent at h


To analyze the economic contribution of shoreline pro-
tection services provided by Caribbean coral reefs, the study
estimated the extent of the region's shoreline protected by
coral reefs, the value of the shoreline protection services pro-
vided by these reefs (based on costs required to replace them
by artificial means), and potential losses in the annual bene-
fits of shoreline protection services due to reef degradation.
Using data on shoreline and coral reef location,211 and
identifying coastline within 2 km of a mapped coral reef as
"pr. ,r,.,:r,.d by the reef, the study estimated that coral reefs
protect about 21 percent of the coastline of the Caribbean
region (about 18,000 km in length). The economic value of
the shoreline protection services provided along these coast-
lines varies with the level of development of the shoreline,
its population density, and tourist activity. Values used in
this study for annual coastal protection benefits ranged
from US$2,000 per km of coastline for protection of less-
developed shorelines to US$1,000,000 per km of coastline
for highly developed shorelines.212 Accounting for the
length of shoreline in various categories of development
(high, medium, and low), the value of annual benefits from
the shoreline protection services of healthy coral reefs across
the Caribbean region was estimated between US$740 mil-
lion and US$2.2 billion per year. (See Table 5.)
The study used the Reefs at Risk Threat Index as a
proxy for future coral reef condition and associated declines
in the coastal protection function of reefs. The analysis
assumed that shorelines near degraded reefs received 80 to
90 percent as much protection as shorelines near healthy


some future reduction in this service (over 15,000 km).214
Such reductions might not be apparent as quickly as
declines in fisheries or recreation because reefs must become
severely degraded and eroded before loss of protection
occurs. However, within the next 50 years, the net value of
lost benefits from reef-associated shoreline protection could
be on the order of US$140 million to US$420 million per
year.


Summary of Values

Table 6 summarizes the results of preliminary efforts to
quantify just a few of the many economic values provided
by coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean. In 2000, coral
reefs provided annual net benefits in terms of fisheries, dive


a A


Coral reefs protect shorelines by dissipating wave energy and are an
important source of white sand for many beaches.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 57


Level of Shoreline


Percent of


Total value of Reef-Related
Shoreline Protection Services


ur ranges as follows: Low









tourism, and shoreline protection services with an estimated

value between US$3.1 billion to US$4.6 billion. The net

benefits from dive tourism were the largest share of this

total (US$2.1 billion), followed by shoreline protection

services (US$ 0.7 to 2.2 billion), and fisheries (about

US$300 million). The study estimates coral reef degrada-

tion could result in losses of between 30-45 percent of net

benefits from fisheries and 2-5 percent of net benefits from

dive tourism by 2015. By 2050, over 15,000 km of shore-

line could loose 10-20 percent of current protection serv-

ices. All told, coral reef degradation could reduce the net

benefits derived from these three goods and services by an

estimated US$350 million to US$870 million per year. (See

Table 6.)


OTHER VALUES

Coral reefs provide many other sources of value that are not

included in this study. One such source of value is bio-

prospecting. Coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosys-

tems known and are an important potential source of bio-

active compounds for pharmaceuticals. The prospect of

finding a new drug in the sea may be 300 to 400 times

more likely than isolating one from a terrestrial ecosys-

tem.215 If species are lost before they are identified, there is

an associated loss of potentially priceless biological informa-

tion. Products from marine organisms include AZT, an

HIV treatment developed from the extracts of a Caribbean

reef sponge,216 and Prialt, a painkiller developed from cone

snail venom.217 In addition, a large portion of new cancer

drug research focuses on marine organisms, most of them

associated with coral reefs.218


Estimated Annual Value of
Good/Service and Valuation Method Good/Service in 2000 Estimated Future Annual Losses Due to Coral Reef Degradation
Fisheries US$312 milliona Fisheries productivity could decline an estimated 30-45 percent
Annual net benefits of maximum sustainable fish by 2015 with associated loss of annual net benefits valued at
production, estimated from sale of coral reef- US$100-140 million (in constant-dollar terms, standardized to
associated fish and shellfish 2000).b
Tourism and Recreation US$2.1 billion' Growth of Caribbean dive tourism will continue, but the growth
Annual net benefits from dive tourism, estimated achieved by 2015 could be lowered by 2-5 percent as a result of
from gross tourism revenues coral reef degradation, with the region-wide loss of annual net
benefits valued at an estimated US$100-300 million (in constant-
dollar terms, standardized to 2000).

Shoreline Protection US$0.7-2.2 billione Over 15,000 km of shoreline could experience a 10-20 percent
Annual benefits of coral reef protection based on reduction in shoreline protection by 2050 as a result of coral reef
estimated cost of replacement degradation. The estimated value of lost annual net benefits is
estimated at US$140-420 million (in constant-dollar terms,
standardized to 2000).'

TOTAL US$3.1-4.6 billion US$350-870 million


SOURCE: Estimi
NOTES:
a. Fisheries pro


:WRI (2004). Te


ny coral re


. Fisheries production is predicted to decline depending or
threatened reefs are more degraded and have lower pro(
Productivity factors used were 4.0 mt/km2/yr on low-thre
. Estimates of 3.6 million divers in the Caribbean with as
notes online at http://reefsatrsk.wr.org). Net revenue a


p://reefsatrisk.wrl.or.


Produce 4 mt/km2/yr of fish or shellfish, which se
he level of future reef degradation (using the Re
tivity. Of 26,000 sq km of reefs, the areas rated
reefs; 2.3 to 2.9 mt/km2/yr on medium-threat re
:iated net benefits of US$2.1 billion are a synthe
jmed to be 35 percent of gross revenue (costs a


efs at Ri
at low, r
eefs; and
sis and a
re 65 per


average of $6/kg, and that net revenue is 50 per
sk Threat Index as a proxy for future reef condition
medium, and high threat are 9,400, 5,400, and 1
0.7 to 1.7 mt/km2/yr on highlythreatened reefs.
cross-tabulation of data from six sources (see ch
cent). A multiplier of 25 percent was used to cap


ceni OT gross revenue.
n). This analysis assumes
1,200 sq km, respectively.
Market price of $6/kg was
apter endnotes and technic
ture benefit flows in the ec


on perceived quality of diving and reef health. Reefs under low threat retain al
associated revenue. Overall, the region suffers a loss of 2-5 percent of tourism r
Caribbean region's coastline. The estimated value of protection along the coas


ition of our estimates of level of develop
sir current coastal protection service; re


p://reefsatrisk.wrl.org.
a given shoreline leng


divers; medium-threat reefs retain 95-99 percent of diving; high-
evenue.
line varies between US$2,000 and US$1 mllon per km, depend-

mate of the nearest coral reef. Reefs under low threat are
providee 90 percent and 80 percent of current service, respectively.


58 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


d. Diving shifts within and outs
threat reefs retain 90-96 pe
e. Coral reefs protect an estima
ing upon the area's develop
f. This estimate is based on crc
assumed to provide 100 perc


b








The potential economic value of bioprospecting on
coral reefs is difficult to estimate and such an estimation has
not been attempted in this study. Part of the problem in
deriving estimated values is that very little can be directly
linked to individual reef localities. Biological samples can be
taken from reefs at very low cost and screened for bioactive
properties far away from the reef. The revenues and profits
derived from successful biopharmaceuticals often do not
make it back to the communities, or even to the countries,
from which the original biological samples were taken.
Although the potential economic value of bioprospecting
and pharmaceutical development might be very high, given
current free-market, free-access approaches to biological
resources, these values are not likely to benefit local or even
national populations associated with coral reefs.
Other sources of reef-associated economic value not
accounted for in this study include the harvesting of non-
food resources (aquarium fish, curios), the role of these
ecosystems as places for research and education, the role of
reefs in supporting adjacent coastal and oceanic ecosystems,
and the contribution of coral reefs to regional and global


I There is tremendous unrealized genetic potential in coral reef ecosystems.


oceanographic and climatological processes. A value that is
only recently receiving recognition is the role of healthy
coral reef ecosystems in maintaining and restoring stressed
or degraded reefs. Healthy reefs can serve as a supply of
coral larvae to other locations, increasing the recovery
chances of stressed or degraded reefs lying downstream. As
the total extent of degraded reefs increases, the restoration
value of healthy reefs nearby will grow considerably.
Also extremely important, but notoriously difficult to
translate into economic statistics are a range of non-use or
"existence" values for natural resources, based on aesthetic,
spiritual, cultural, or intrinsic value. Coral reefs are valued
by many as places of beauty, excitement, and adventure.
They are also seen as places of enlightenment and inspira-
tion. Reefs have cultural significance through their role in
ongoing traditions, notably fishing. Many argue that coral
reefs and other natural treasures have intrinsic value that
exists independent of human perceptions. Such values are,
by their nature, unmeasurable.

AREAS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS

This study represents a preliminary attempt to quantify the
region-wide economic value of coral reefs in terms of fish-
eries, dive tourism, and shoreline protection. Further
research is needed to improve these estimates and provide
greater detail on a country-by-country basis. As more stan-
dardized coral reef maps become available, estimates of the
value of goods and services per unit area can be refined.
However, better statistics are needed on fish catch, by
species and area, to improve estimates of productivity and
changes in productivity resulting from changes in reef con-
dition. Also sorely needed is better information on shoreline
erosion in areas where coral reefs have degraded, and on
investments in shoreline stabilization. In addition, better
supporting data and means of evaluating potential bio-
prospecting value and non-use values are needed in order to
develop fuller estimates of the total economic value of coral
reefs. Application of standardized methods is important so
that estimates from different areas or countries can be com-
pared. Such survey and analysis is vital to our ability to
make better informed decisions on the protection and man-
agement of these valuable resources.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 59


































he coral reefs of the Caribbean, a mainstay of the
region's economic and social health, are beset by a
wide range of threats resulting from human activities.
Degradation of coral reefs damages not only the integrity of
these important ecosystems but also the health, safety, and
livelihoods of the human societies that depend on them.
Although the potential human and economic losses are
great, actions to reverse the threats to Caribbean coral reefs
can often be undertaken at very low cost, with very high
financial and societal returns, even in the short term.
Actions are required across a range of scales-from
local to national and international. Such actions include the
establishment of better management practices-to place
fisheries on a more sustainable basis and to improve yields,
to protect reefs from direct damage, and to integrate the
sometimes conflicting approaches to management in the
watersheds and adjacent waters around coral reefs.
Fundamental to supporting these actions is wider involve-
ment of the public and stakeholders in management
processes, as well as an improved level of understanding of
the importance of coral reefs. Better understanding of the
economic value of coastal ecosystems, and of the linkages
between human activities and changes in coral reef condi-
tion, will further support and underpin the necessary


changes in management and will strengthen political and
societal support for these changes.
To these ends, we recommend the following specific
actions:

Create the Willfor Change

* Raise awareness of the importance, value, and
fragility of coral reefs through targeted education
campaigns. Many residents and visitors to the
Caribbean fail to realize and understand the connections
between their own activities and the health of coral reefs.
Targeted education and awareness-raising campaigns are
needed to change behavior and create political will for
policy change. Educators, universities, national govern-
ments, resource managers, NGOs, and others should
work to raise awareness among residents and visitors
alike through the development and dissemination of tar-
geted educational materials. Key target audiences are
community groups, fishers, workers in the tourist indus-
try, tourists, developers, politicians, and students.


60 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN








m Factor the economic value of reef goods and services
into development planning, policies, and projects.
The value of healthy coral reef ecosystems is poorly
grasped by most people, but incorporating information
on the economic value of the goods and services pro-
vided by coral reef ecosystems can help bolster arguments
for strengthening and expanding reef protection and
management programs. Greater efforts are needed to
integrate information on the value of coral reefs and the
potential costs of their degradation into economic and
planning agendas. Universities, research organizations,
and government agencies should undertake additional
economic valuation studies of Caribbean coral reefs,
using consistent methods that are applied in many differ-
ent areas within the region. Planners, governments, and
NGOs should use the results of these studies to debate
the true costs of development options, select develop-
ment that minimizes damage to reef ecosystems, and
allocate sufficient financial resources for coastal manage-
ment and conservation.



Build Capacity for Change

m Develop local and national expertise for better man-
agement of coral reef ecosystems through training of
resource managers and decision-makers. Financial
resources, educational levels, and availability of training
vary widely across the region, and the small size of many
countries may undermine their ability to sustain full sci-
entific and administrative capacities. National govern-
ments, international organizations, NGOs, and others
should support and implement expanded provision of
training to managers and decision-makers across the
region to strengthen the effectiveness of coastal planning
and the implementation of management plans. For
example, the UNEP-Caribbean "Training of Trainers"
courses are designed to provide professionals from across
the region with opportunities to strengthen their skills in
all aspects of planning and management of marine pro-
tected areas. To multiply the impact of this training, par-
ticipants, in turn, train additional practitioners back in
their local communities.


* Encourage free flow and exchange of information and
experiences about management and protection of
coral reef resources. Across the Caribbean, there are
examples of excellence in management, training pro-
grams, government and community involvement,
research, and monitoring. Better systems are needed to
encourage the free flow and exchange of information
between scientists and management agencies, between
countries, and between government agencies. Better net-
working and exchange is also needed to ensure that
information and experience from one area can be
accessed and used across the region. International NGOs
and intergovernmental agencies should facilitate
increased sharing of information and expertise on condi-
tion, management, and protection of coral reefs in the
Caribbean. The International Coral Reef Action
Network's (ICRAN) network of MPA demonstration
sites and the Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity
(CARICOMP) network are examples of successful
sharing.


* Integrate socioeconomic and environmental monitor-
ing to increase understanding of coastal habitats.
Good management requires continued access to informa-
tion about natural resources and how they change over
time and in response to natural and human influences.
Monitoring programs that integrate human, physical,
and ecological data are essential to improve our ability to


Coral reef monitoring and assessment needs to be well integrated with
socioeconomic and environmental monitoring to provide information
needed for better understanding of changes occurring on coral reefs.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 61








link, for example, changes in upland activities with
downstream impacts. The scientific community and
resource managers should move toward such integrated
monitoring programs and make the information widely
available in useable formats. Where possible, these inte-
grated monitoring efforts should use existing methods
and protocols to facilitate comparison of findings among
sites and countries. For example, Socioeconomic
Monitoring Guidelines for Coastal Managers in the
Caribbean (SocMon) provides simple, standardized
guidelines for establishing a socioeconomic monitoring
program at a coastal management site in the Caribbean
that could serve as a basis for a regional system in which
data can be compared.


m Facilitate stakeholder participation in decision-mak-
ing about management and protection of coral reef
resources. The absence of community inclusion and par-
ticipation has played a key role in the failure of many
reef management efforts. When stakeholders are
excluded from decision-making, local knowledge and
capacity is left untapped and reef management programs
may fail to respond to the needs of users. National gov-
ernments and resource managers should apply collabora-
tive and cooperative (co-management) approaches to
coral reef management that will involve all stakeholders.
National governments and NGOs can work with
resource users to promote the concept of co-manage-
ment, moving beyond pilot projects to full-scale initia-
tives. The Coastal and Marine Management Program
(CaMMP) of the Caribbean Conservation Assocation
(CCA) is working to develop guidelines for successful co-
management of coastal resources in the Caribbean.


m Create the systems of governance required for effec-
tive management of coral reefs. In many cases, the
activities of different groups, agencies, or even interna-
tional bodies work in opposition to one another or fail to
take advantage of potential synergies to better manage
marine resources. Clear institutional frameworks, legal
authority, and administrative capacity to manage marine
resources are critically needed. National governments


should facilitate good governance of the coastal zone by
carrying out national assessments of the institutional and
legal framework for executing policy and updating insti-
tutional and legal frameworks where necessary. For
instance, Barbados and Belize have successfully imple-
mented specific legislation on institutional arrangements
for management of the coastal zone, cutting across the
prior sectoral approaches.


* Use the Reefs at Risk indicators and apply the analyt-
ical methodology at finer resolutions to support deci-
sion-making on coral reef management. The analysis
tool and standardized indicators developed under this
project provide a valuable and low-cost means of under-
standing the potential pressures on coral reefs where spe-
cific information on reef conditions is not available. The
project uses an approach that is reproducible and can be
implemented at local scales (full technical notes available
online at http://reefsatrisk.wri.org). Use of such indica-
tors increases confidence in and support for management
decisions. National, provincial, and local resource agen-
cies should contribute to the development of finer-scale
indicators to inform policy and decision-making.



Improve Management
* Develop sustainable fisheries through education,
stakeholder involvement, and reduced intensity of
fishing practices. Fishing is exceeding sustainable levels
in most Caribbean countries. National governments
should work with resource users to implement sustain-
able fishing policies and practices. Licensing, incentives
for sustainable practices, and penalties for illegal fishing
can help reduce the intensity of fishing practices.
Education of fishers regarding the impacts of different
fishing gear will also promote sustainable harvesting of
fish. In addition, "no take areas" or "marine fishery
reserves" should be adopted, in part, as a strategy to
replenish depleted fish stocks and serve as a source for
recruits to adjacent fisheries. Critical to the success of
such reserves will be educating stakeholders about their
effectiveness in supporting fisheries and in providing


62 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN








additional benefits such as alternative income generation
and involving stakeholders to ensure community support
for implementation.


m Apply holistic approaches to coastal zone manage-
ment. Successful management of coral reef ecosystems
entails dealing effectively with multiple influences and
threats, many of which can be traced to activities taking
place at considerable distances from the reefs themselves.
Integrated coastal management (ICM) is the term given
to such a holistic approach, involving participation from
a wide range of stakeholders, including multiple govern-
ment agencies, local communities, the private sector, and
NGOs. National governments can provide incentives for
agencies with disparate mandates and conflicting agendas
to share information and work together holistically. Land
management agencies (agriculture, forestry, etc.) need to
have a stake in coastal management. Agencies at the
national and provincial or district level should use the
tools of ICM to help guide development and reduce
impacts through zoning and regulation, and through
planning and evaluation of the ecological carrying capac-
ity of coastal areas.


m Expand Marine Protected Areas and improve their
management effectiveness in safeguarding coral reef
ecosystems. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an
important component of comprehensive coastal-area
management; however, only a small minority of coral
reefs are located within formally designated MPAs, and
an even smaller percentage (5%) are located in MPAs
rated as having fully or partially effective management.
MPAs should be expanded to cover additional coral reefs,
and the management effectiveness of many existing
MPAs needs to be strengthened. Expansion of MPAs
should reflect a regional perspective, recognizing the
interdependence of reef communities and the trans-
boundary nature of many of the threats. Siting of new
MPAs should include reefs likely to be highly resistant to
coral bleaching (such as deep reefs in areas of high water
circulation) and/or highly resilient to disturbance to help
reduce risks from changing climate. To bolster the man-


Effective coastal zone management must consider activities taking
place on the land, far from reefs.

agement effectiveness of existing MPAs, national govern-
ments, donors, NGOs, and the private sector should
provide financial and political support to help MPAs
build needed capacity and adequately train staff. MPAs
must also strive to be financially self-sustaining with a
diverse revenue structure.


* Develop tourism sustainably to ensure long-term ben-
efits. Tourism is vital to the Caribbean region. Decision-
makers should be aware of the negative impacts of
unplanned and unrestricted development and take steps
to limit such damages. Education of tourists, particularly
divers and snorkelers, is essential to reducing impacts.
Informed tourists can become a driving force for better
practices by demanding high environmental standards at
their destinations. The development and use of certifica-
tion schemes, accreditation, and awards for good envi-
ronmental practices for hotels and dive-and-tour opera-
tors may also provide incentives for environmentally
sensible development. Several organizations in the region
are partnering with industry to reduce the impacts of
tourism, including the Caribbean Tourism Organization,
the Caribbean Hotel Association, and the Caribbean
Association for Sustainable Tourism. However, wholly
independent validation of environmental standards may
be preferable to industry-led certification schemes.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 63








m Implement good marine practices to restrict dumping
of waste at sea and the clearing of ballast waters.
Regional bodies, national governments, NGOs, and the
private sector should work together to develop best prac-
tices (for example, in the cruise industry). Ports, harbors,
and marinas need to develop pump-out and waste treat-
ment facilities to reduce the pressure on vessels of all
sizes to dump grey-water, bilge, and wastewater in the
sea. Some of these needs are addressed under MARPOL,
an international convention on the prevention of pollu-
tion from ships, which has been signed by most
Caribbean nations. MARPOL should provide a frame-
work for more national regulations across the region.
Development of regulatory frameworks to implement
these agreements should be expedited.



International Action

* Ratify and implement international agreements.
International agreements are an important tool for set-
ting targets and achieving collective goals. Important
international agreements addressing the threats evaluated
in this study include the protocols of the Cartagena
Convention (addressing land-based sourses of pollution,
oil spills, and protected areas and wildlife), the UN
Convention on the Law of the Sea (on ocean gover-
nance), MARPOL (on marine pollution), and the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change. Signing
such agreements is a first step, but implementation is
essential.


m Promote international cooperation and exchange.
Even in the absence of international legal instruments,
regional collaboration on issues such as fisheries and
watershed management could greatly reduce some
threats. Priorities for the region should be coordinated
through entities such as the Forum of Ministers of Latin
America and the Caribbean and the Caribbean Small
Islands Developing States Group. Sub-regional bodies,
such as the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States
(OECS) or the Central American Commission on


Environment and Development (CCAD), could play a
key role in dealing with sub-regional resource manage-
ment issues. International NGOs, intergovernmental
agencies, and funders should actively support coopera-
tion and exchange to promote synergy and foster part-
nerships to protect Caribbean coral reefs. A good exam-
ple is the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Systems (MBRS)
Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility
(GEF) and the World Bank, which recognizes this reef
system as a shared resource requiring a coordinated man-
agement approach. National bodies dedicated to the pro-
tection of reefs, such as the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force,
should receive full support from their governments to
engage issues of coral reef protection at regional as well
as domestic levels.


The Caribbean presents a unique realm: a large, hyper-
diverse marine ecosystem, with coral reefs at its heart. The
threats to these reefs are many and complex. Because of the
high degree of connectivity among coral reefs, a threat to
one reef area can become a threat to many.
Much needs to be done if the serious and growing
threats to Caribbean coral reefs are to be turned around, but
there is reason for hope. Examples from across the region
show that marine conservation not only can be done but
can also generate considerable benefits for local communi-
ties. The tide can be turned, but it will require commitment
and action from all relevant stakeholders-in government
and in the private sector-across the Caribbean region.


64 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN






kvvendix A* PHYICI ANECOMSTITC






TTAB L A. C A RE A A INHE' AIDRC RIB



Estimates of Coral Reef Area


Reefs at Risk in


World Atlas of


UNEP-WCMC


Country/Territory the Caribbean Coral Reefs and NOAA
km2 km2 km2
Anguilla 70 <50 33
Antigua and Barbuda 180 240 220
Aruba 25 <50 47
Bahamas 3,580 3,150 2,805
Barbados 90 <100 92
Belize 1,420 1,330 1,152
Bermuda 210 370 332
British Virgin Islands 380 330 335
Cayman Islands 130 230 207
Colombia 2,060 900 2,541
Costa Rica 30 0 47
Cuba 3,290 3,020 2,783
Dominica 70 <100 47
Dominican Republic 1,350 610 567
Grenada 160 150 131
Guadeloupea 400 250 400
Guatemala 0 0 0
Haiti 1,260 450 458
Honduras 1,120 810 811
Jamaica 1,010 1,240 1,206
Martinique 260 240 617
Mexico 1,220 1,350 1,216
Montserrat 25 <50 41
Navassa Island 10 n.d. n.d.
Netherlands Antilles Total (North, South)b 250 (40, 210) 420 (n.a., n.a.) 386 (85,301)
Nicaragua 870 710 508
Panama 1,600 570 492
Puerto Rico 1,610 480 2,171
St. Kitts and Nevis 160 180 170
St. Lucia 90 160 98
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 140 140 131
Trinidad and Tobago 40 <100 62
Turks and Caicos Islands 1,190 730 2,002
United States 840 1,250 1,131
Venezuela 230 480 486
Virgin Islands (U.S.) 590 200 748
Regional Total 25,960 20,000 24,860


Sources:
1. Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean r
atWRI and is based on the best


University of Sc
Remote Sensin
Mapping Projec
Oceanographic
(NOAA) Benthic
Virgin Islands,
Institute of Bel
Biodiversity Ma
Distribution (2(


uth Florida, Institute for Marin
g (IMaRS), Millennium Coral Re
t (draft data, 2004); US Nation
and Atmospheric Administratic
Habitats of Puerto Rico and th
(2001); Coastal Zone Managem
ize (1999); and UNEP-WCMC
p Library: Global Coral Reef
)02). In order to convert these
igle layer of broadly comparable
ps were fitted to a 500-m resoel


grid and it was rom this grdded data layer that
reef area estimates were generated.
. The reef maps prepared for the WorldAtlas of Coral
Reefs(Spalding et al., 2001) represented the best
available information at the time of publication.
Data were drawn from multiple sources, ranging
from hydrographic charts and remote sensing stud-
ies, to much lower-resolution maps. To convert
these sources to a single layer of broad comparable


grlddec
3. The ree
ety of s


lata layer.
maps from UNEP-WCMC c
Jrces, including hydrogral


remote sensing, and mucn lower-resolution ma
Positional accuracy of some of these data were
checked and improved by NOAA by rectifying th
coral reef maps with bathymetric data from thi
km resolution SeaWifs sensor. Data were griddi
NOAA at 1-km resolution and estimates of reef
were generated from this grdded data layer.


Notes:
Estimates
Pacific) ree
The three s
sources, ar
Reef area i
coral reef,


ily Caribbean and Atlani

ted in this table use var


tecnniques usea (i.e., sate ite imagery versus cnart
Efforts to map Caribbean coral reefs are rapidly


i. Guadeloupe includes the Frenc
St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.
. Netherlands Antilles North ncl
St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, and
Antilles South includes the isla
Curacao.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 65











TAY ICH WI D CRI B


Land Area Maritime Claim
National Draining to in Caribbean/


Shelf Area to
30 m within


Shelf Area to
200 m within


Caribbean
Coastline


Country/Territory Land Area Caribbean Atlantic Maritime Claim Maritime Claim Length
km2 km2 km2 km2 km2 km

Anguilla 90 90 91,150 650 2,840 90
Antigua and Barbuda 440 440 110,225 2,385 4,820 270
Aruba 190 190 2,770 115 1,140 100
Bahamas 12,900 12,900 622,695 113,810 127,785 9,265
Barbados 430 430 187,535 80 695 95
Belize 22,965 22,965 34,735 7,850 9,115 2,220
Bermuda 55 0 449,735 840 1,400 140
British Virgin Islands 155 155 80,785 2,060 3,570 300
Cayman Islands 265 265 123,590 185 760 210
Colombia 1,038,700 678,745 490,680 18,635 40,680 3,445
Costa Rica 51,100 23,710 29,200 975 2,610 650
Cuba 111,950 110,860 342,615 50,870 58,210 12,005
Dominica 750 750 28,640 85 640 150
Dominican Republic 48,445 48,445 255,720 7,020 14,540 1,530
Grenada 345 345 27,380 960 3,670 195

Guadeloupea 1,710 1,710 28,790 1,435 5,930 515
Guatemala 108,890 84,575 1,570 1,210 1,480 355
Haiti 27,750 27,750 124,590 3,305 5,905 1,820
Honduras 112,090 92,395 241,040 35,850 73,060 2,325
Jamaica 10,990 10,990 242,920 9,615 14,735 825
Martinique 1,100 1,100 18,740 415 1,515 320
Mexico 1,958,200 1,055,245 830,505 92,330 245,950 12,315
Montserrat 105 105 8,120 40 230 45

Netherlands Antilles Northb 70 70 12,420 1,510 3,540 65
Netherlands Antilles South' 740 740 66,240 12 1,080 295
Nicaragua 120,255 110,110 63,845 39,470 52,150 2,075
Panama 75,520 22,295 142,565 6,105 11,570 2,905
Puerto Rico 8,950 8,950 205,410 3,500 6,680 930
St. Kitts and Nevis 270 270 9,835 460 1,415 120
St. Lucia 620 620 15,445 190 895 155
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 390 390 36,175 665 2,240 210
Trinidad and Tobago 5,130 5,130 73,460 5,925 24,045 665
Turks and Caicos Islands 430 430 149,315 7,005 8,510 745
United States 9,158,960 4,364,890 1,131,665d 233,830d 460,990d 22,875d
Venezuela 882,050 822,095 472,950 51,365 110,205 6,400
Virgin Islands (U.S.) 350 350 5,890 1,030 2,435 305

Othere 284,580


Regional Total (excl. U.S.)
Regional Total (incl. U.S.)


4,604,390 3,430,190
13,763,350 7,795,080


5,627,280 467,955


846,045 64,055


6,758,945 701,785 1,307,035 86,930


Sources:
1. National Land Area: data were compiled
from FAO (FAOSTAT, 1998), CIA World
FactBook(2002), CARICOMEnvironment
in Figures 2002, and the Global Maritime
Boundaries Database (GMBD) (Veridan -
MRJ Technology Solutions, 2002).
2. Caribbean drainage area was calculated
at WRI, using watershed boundaries
developed by the Reefs at Risk project.
3. Maritime Claims were derived at WRI


using data from
Boundaries Data
MRJ Technology
Maritime claims
Territorial Sea, C
Exclusive Econon
Zones claimed b)


theCar
4, 5. Shelf
derived
based o
oped at
the Dan
MAP da
resoluti
Veridla
Databa:
6. Caribbe
at WRI


the Global Maritime
base (GMBD) iVeridia


tiguous Zone,
Zone, and Fis
country (up tc


ibbean and
Area within
atWRI. Sh
In a bathyn
WRI from (
ish Hydrolc
ta product,
on. Teritor
n-MRJ's Glo


;ei oevel-
data from
i's (DHI) C-
d at 1-km


in Coastline length was
sing World Vector Shore
ase. For Central Americ
e Pacific coastline was


3 km were excluded
stihne measurement:
endent, and vary wit
iata source. This es
dardized 1:250,000


Notes:


of St. Mart
Netherland


n and St. Barthele
A Antilles North in
;t. Maarten, St. Eu


. Netherlands Antilles
islands of Bonaire ar
d. For the US, onlythe c
Gulf States (Texas, L
Mississipp, AlabamA


. Includes the parts of Brazil, Guyana,
Surinam, and Canada draining to the
Caribbean.


66 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


tries, the










IO WI I


Population
Population Population Change


Population
Density


Population
in Watershed
Draining
into the
Caribbean


Percentage of Population
Living Within a Given
Distance of the Coastline
(2000)


Country/Territory (1990) (2000) (1990-2000) (2000) (2000) 10km 100km
Thousands Thousands % Change People/km2 Thousands % %

Anguillaa 8 11 72.7 122 11 100 100
Antigua and Barbuda 63 65 3.3 147 65 100 100
Aruba 66 101 52.7 529 101 100 100
Bahamas 255 304 19.2 24 304 100 100
Barbados 257 268 4.0 622 268 100 100
Belize 186 226 21.9 10 226 29 100
Bermuda 59 63 7.0 1,189 0 100 100
British Virgin Islands 17 24 37.2 154 24 100 100
Cayman Islands 26 38 45.2 145 38 100 100
Colombia 34,970 42,105 20.4 41 38,142 7 18
Costa Rica 3,049 4,024 32.0 79 1,278 2 71
Cuba 10,629 11,199 5.4 101 11,199 41 100
Dominica 71 71 -1.1 94 71 100 100
Dominican Republic 7,061 8,373 18.6 173 8,373 28 100
Grenada 91 94 3.1 271 94 100 100
Guadeloupeb 391 428 9.5 250 428 100 100
Guatemala 8,749 11,385 30.1 105 6,202 1 5
Haiti 6,907 8,143 17.9 293 8,143 48 100
Honduras 4,870 6,417 31.8 57 4,271 8 47
Jamaica 2,369 2,576 8.7 234 2,576 53 100
Martinique 360 383 6.4 349 383 100 100
Mexico 83,223 98,872 18.8 50 55,328 3 15
Montserrata 11 4 -36.4 39 8 100 100
Netherlands Antillesc 188 215 14.7 266 215 100 100
Nicaragua 3,824 5,071 32.6 42 3,673 1 7
Panama 2,398 2,856 19.1 38 964 6 90
Puerto Rico 3,528 3,915 11.0 437 3,915 58 100
St. Kitts and Nevis 42 39 -8.1 143 39 100 100
St. Lucia 131 148 12.5 238 148 100 100
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 106 113 7.1 291 113 100 100
Trinidad and Tobago 1,215 1,294 6.5 252 1,294 72 100
Turks and Caicos Islands 12 17 44.0 39 17 100 100
United States 254,776 283,230 11.2 31 115,958 4d 10d
Venezuela 19,502 24,170 23.9 27 24,167 21 73
Virgin Islands (U.S.) 104 121 16.0 346 121 100 100
Othere 1,002


194,736 233,130 19.7
449,512 516,360 14.9


173,199
289,157


Sources:
1. Population for 1990 & 2000 from
Population Division of the Department of
Economic and Social Affairs of the
United Nations Secretariat, World
Population Prospects: The 2000 Revision
(2002).
2. Population change: calculated at WRI as
the percentage change in UN population
estimates between 1990 and 2000.
3. Population density: calculated at WRI as
the population in 2000 divided by
national land area (see Table A2).
4. Population in watershed draining into
the Caribbean: drainage area derived
from watershed delineation work under-
taken at WRI, population data from
Center for International Earth Science
Information Network (CIESIN), Gridded
Population of the World, Version 3
(Palisades, NY: CIESIN/Columbla
University, 2003).
5. Percentage of population livng within a
distance of the coastline (2000): calcu-
lated for 10 km or 100 km atWRI using
grdded CIESIN (2003) population data
at 1-km resolution and a 10-km buffer
of 1:250,000 World Vector Shorelne (E.A.
Solur and V.A. Woodson. 1990. "World
Vector Shorelne." International
Hydrographic Review, vol 67, no. 1.).


Notes:
a. Population data forAng
Montserrat were naval
source. They were derive


CIESIN
population
ion.
D. GuadelouF
of St. Mari
:. Netherlan(
Curacao, ;
Maarten.
1. US popular
the coast
MississipF
i. Other incl
Guyana, S
to the Car


from the UN
WRI from


ty grd at 1-km n


includes Texas, L(
pI, Alabama, and
udes the parts of
uriname, and Car


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 67


Regional Total (excl. U.S.)
Regional Total (incl. U.S.)



















Country/Territory (2000) (2000) (2000) (2000) Ratio (2000) (2002) GDP (2002) 2014)
Avg. number
of tourists Percent
US$ per thousand US$ Percent of growth per
US$ Thousands Thousands (millions) inhabitants (millions) GDP annum

Anguilla 8,200 44 n.d. 55 76 58 58 5
Antigua and Barbuda 8,200 237 429 291 n.d. 528 72 5
Aruba 28,000 721 490 837 161 1,064 47 4
Bahamas 15,000 1,596 2,513 1,814 63 2,497 46 6
Barbados 14,500 545 533 711 56 1,032 37 5
Belize 3,200 196 58 121 16 194 23 6
Bermuda 33,000 328 210 431 86 729 26 4
British Virgin Islands 16,000 281 189 315 352 343 85 3
Cayman Islands 24,500 354 1,031 559 152 468 31 6
Colombia 6,200 557a n.d. 1,028a n.d. 5,541 6 5
Costa Rica 6,700 1,088a n.d. 1,2298 n.d. 2,057 12 6
Cuba 1,700 1,774 n.d. 1,857 4 2,572 11 6
Dominica 4,000 70 240 47 23 64 22 5
Dominican Republic 5,700 2,973 182 2,860 11 4,136 18 6
Grenada 4,400 129 180 70 25 99 23 6
Guadeloupe 9,000 807 329 454 27 658 33 4
Guatemala 3,700 n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. 1,656 8 5
Haiti 1,800 140 305 54 n.d. 182 5 4
Honduras 2,700 471 n.d. 2628 n.d. 568 8 6
Jamaica 3,700 1,323 908 1,333 14 2,025 27 5
Martinique 11,000 526 286 370 49 568 10 4
Mexico 9,100 3,045b 1,505b 2,346b n.d. 60,700 9 8
Montserrat 5,000 10 n.d. 9 n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d.
Netherlands Antillesc 11,400 693 347 765 64 n.d. n.d. n.d.
Nicaragua 2,700 486a n.d. 111 n.d. 204 7 7
Panama 6,000 4848 n.d. 5768 n.d. 1,527 15 6
Puerto Rico 10,000 3,341 1,302 2,388 6 3,506 5 4
St. Kitts and Nevis 7,000 73 165 58 43 93 25 5
St. Lucia 4,500 270 444 277 45 380 51 5
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2,800 73 86 75 n.d. 110 29 5
Trinidad and Tobago 9,500 399 82 213 n.d. 787 9 5
Turks and Caicos Islands 7,300 151 n.d. 285 13 n.d. n.d. n.d.
United States 36,200 74,100d n.d. 82,042a n.d. 1,160,300 11 4
Venezuela 6,200 469 135 563a n.d. 9,000 6 6
Virgin Islands (U.S.) 15,000 607 1,768 1,157 69 1,629 42 4


Regional Total (excl. U.S.)
Regional Total (incl. U.S.)


24,261 13,716 25,523
98,361 105,565


104,974
1,265,274


1. Gross UDomestic Product (GUr per
capital, (PPP) is gross domestic prod-
uct converted to international dollars
using Purchasng Power Parity (PPP)
rates and divided bythe population of
the country that year. World Factbook
(CIA, 2000). Published online at
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/fa
ctbook/.
2. Tourist arrivals (stay-over) includes
visitors staying n the country at least
24 hours. Caribbean Tourism
Organization (CTO), Caribbean
Tourism Statistical Report 2001-2002
(St Michael, Barbados: CTO, 2002).
3. Cruise arrivals: CTO (2002).
4. Tourism receipts: includes expendi-
tures by tourists, cruise passengers,
and other same-day visitors.
Estimates supplied by he relevant
national agency. CTO (2002).
5. Tourism penetration ratio is a basic
but useful measure of tourism inter-
action quantifying the average num-
ber of tourists per thousand local
n habitants, in the country at any one
time. CTO (2002).
6. Value of tourism economy: WTTC
(World Travel and Tourism Council)
The Impact of Travel & Tourism on
Jobs and the Economy 2002: Country
Reports (London, UK: WTTC, 2002).
7. Contribution of tourism economy to
total GDP: CTO (2002).
8. Projected travel and tourism growth
rate: CTO (2002).

Notes:
n.d. = no data
a. Supplementary data for Tourist
Arrivals (stay-over) and Internationa
Tourism Receipts: when not available
from CTO (2002), taken from
Development Data Group, The World
Bank, WorldDevelopment indicators
2002 (Washington, D.C.: The World
Bank, 2002). Onlne.
b. Mexico data from CTO refers to
Cancun and Cozumel only
c. Netherlands Antilles includes Bonare,
Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius, and St.
Maarten.
d. US tourist arrivals figure refers to
Florida onlyand includes domestic
and international tourist arrivals
(source: "visit Florida"
http://www.flausa-
med a.om/Subcategories/florda%20f
acts/Fact%20Pa es/ffrecfct.htm).


68 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


Projected
Travel and
GDP Per Tourist International Value of Contribution Tourism
Capita Arrivals Cruise Tourism Tourism Tourism of Tourism Growth
(PPP) (stay-over) Arrivals Receipts Penetration Economy Economy to Rate (2002- Sources:










A N T WI


Country I Territory


Number of
MPAs


Management Effectiveness Rating


Partial Inadequate Unknown


Percent of
Reef Area
Inside of MPAs


Anguilla 5 0 0 5 0 0
Antigua and Barbuda 6 0 0 4 2 13
Aruba 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bahamas 9 0 1 0 8 2
Barbados 1 0 1 0 0 6
Belize 12 1 8 2 1 27
Bermuda 35 1 1 33 0 14
British Virgin Islands 11 1 0 10 0 42
Cayman Islandsa 1 1 0 0 0 15
Colombia 7 0 0 6 1 20
Costa Rica 4 0 0 0 4 55
Cuba 30 0 4 24 2 13
Dominica 2 0 0 2 0 4
Dominican Republic 15 0 4 2 9 43
Grenada 2 0 0 2 0 1
Guadeloupeb 6 1 2 1 2 12
Guatemala 3 0 0 1 2 0
Haiti 0 0 0 0 0 0
Honduras 12 0 1 2 9 11
Jamaica 4 0 1 3 0 22
Martinique 3 0 0 0 3 7
Mexico 9 0 0 7 2 67
Montserrat 1 0 0 1 0 0
Netherlands Antilles North' 3 1 2 0 0 67
Netherlands Antilles Southd 2 1 0 1 0 65
Nicaragua 2 0 0 1 1 68
Panama 4 0 1 2 1 11
Puerto Rico 15 0 3 7 5 21
St. Kitts and Nevis 0 0 0 0 0 0
St. Lucia 20 1 4 15 0 6
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 1 0 0 1 0 16
Trinidad and Tobago 1 0 0 1 0 17
Turks and Caicos Islands 21 0 3 5 13 4
United States 9 7 0 0 2 52
Venezuela 18 0 0 0 18 48
Virgin Islands (U.S.) 11 2 1 0 8 8


Regional Total


17 37 138 93


Sources
1. Numb
Carib
reflect


er of MPAs: Reefs at Risk
bean (WRI, 2004). This ta
ts summary statistics on


database complied by the Re
n the Caribbean Project. Dat
assembled byWRI and project
The data for some countries


the MPA
s at Risk
were
partners.
y be


MPAs vary
2. Management effectiveness rating: Pr
partners were asked to rate manager
effectiveness of MPAs based upon a
cited set of criteria: existence of manm
meant activity, existence of a manage
ment plan, availability of resources
(financial and human), and level of
enforcement. Those ratings are sumi
r zed by country in this table and are
available by MPA within the full data
base.
3. Estimated location and boundaries c
MPAs were overlaid with a data set
coral reef locations to determine the
centage of a country's coral reefs wi
the boundaries of an MPA. These per
centages should be regarded as rou,
estimates based upon available dat


Notes:
a. The Cayr
of protect


Islands has a zo
areas, which wa


. Guadeloupe includes the French
of St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.
. Netherlands Antilles North include
islands of St. Maarten, St. Eustal
and Saba.
1. Netherlands Antilles South include
islands of Bonaire and Curacao.


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 69


ef


ie





* IxB o DTA AC U IT RT I

INTH ARIBBAN TRA ANAL


Data used in the Reefs at Risk threat analysis, model results,
and metadata are available on CD. Model results, accompanied
by metadata, are available online at http://reefsatrisk.wri.org.

COASTAL DEVELOPMENT
* Cities and towns-Environmental Systems Research
Institute (ESRI), "World Cities" and "U.S. Cities," 2002
and http://www.world-gazetteer.com.
* Ports-National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA),
"World Port Index," 2002.
* Airports-NIMA, "VMAP," 1997.
* Dive tourism centers-United Nations Environment
Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre
(UNEP-WCMC), "Caribbean Dive Centers," 2002 and
M.D. Spalding, Guide to the Coral Reefi of the Caribbean
(Berkeley, USA: University of California Press, 2004).
* Population density-U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE), "LandScan,
2001.
* Population growth (by administrative district)-ESRI,
"Administrative Districts", 2002 and
http://www.ciat.cgiar.org.
* Annual tourism growth (by country)-Caribbean Tourism
Organization (CTO), Caribbean Tourism Statistical Report
2001-2002, 2002.


WATERSHED-BASED SOURCES OF SEDIMENT AND POLLUTION*
* Watershed boundaries-Delineated at WRI from U.S.
Geological Survey (USGS), "HYDRO1K" digital elevation
model, 2000 (1-km resolution for the entire Caribbean
region), and U.S. National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA), "Shuttle Radar Topography
Mission" (SRTM) provisional data set, 2003 (90-m resolu-
tion for the Eastern Caribbean).
* Elevation and slope-USGS, "HYDRO1K", 2000 (1-km
resolution for the entire Caribbean region), and NASA
"SRTM," 2003 (90-m resolution for the Eastern Caribbean).
* Land cover-USGS, "Global Land Cover Characteristics
Database," 2000 (1-km resolution for the Wider Caribbean);
University of Maryland, "Global Percent Tree Cover at a
Spatial Resolution of 500 Meters: First Results of the
MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields Algorithm," 2003
(500-m resolution for the Eastern Caribbean); Landsat data
classified in 2003 by Jennifer Gebelein, Florida International


University (30-m resolution for select islands in the Eastern
Caribbean).
* Soil porosity-UN Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO), "World Soil Database," 1995.
* Precipitation-U.S. Army CERL and Center for Remote
Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA), Cook College,
Rutgers University, "Global ARC" CD, 1996.


MARINE-BASED THREATS
* Ports-NIMA, "World Port Index," 2002.
* Oil and gas extraction, processing, and pipeline locations-
NIMA, "VMAP," 1997.
* Cruise ships (intensity of visitation)-Information for this
data set was derived from the "Choosing Cruising" website
http://www.choosingcruising.co.uk, and georeferenced at WRI,
2003.


OVERFISHING
* Population density-U.S. DOE, "LandScan," 2001.
* Shelf area-Developed at WRI based on data from the
Danish Hydrological Institute (DHI), "MIKE C-MAP"
depth points and data on coastline location-NASA,
"SeaWiFS" and NIMA, "VMAP," 1997.
* Coral reef fish abundance-Reef Environmental Education
Foundation (REEF) website http://www.reef.org (accessed
10 February 2003).


CORAL REEF LOCATIONS
Maps of coral reefs in vector format (ESRI ArcINFO line and
polygon files) are the basis for the coral reef map for the
region. These data were of multiple scales, generally ranging
from approximately 1:30,000 to 1:1,000,000, and from multi-
ple sources (listed below). To standardize these data, WRI con-
verted them to raster format (ESRI ArcINFO GRID) at 500-
m resolution for use in the analysis. Sources:

* University of South Florida, Institute for Marine Remote
Sensing (IMaRS), "Millennium Coral Reef Mapping
Project," 2004 (30 m Landsat data classified and converted
to shapefile) for the Lesser Antilles (British Virgin Islands
through Barbados), the Turks and Caicos Islands, Southern
Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua,
and Panama).**


The watershed-based analysis of sediment and pollution was implemented at 1-km resolution for the entire Caribbean region and at 250-m resolution for the
islands of the Eastern Caribbean. This finer scale of analysis provides better detail for the relatively small watersheds of the Eastern Caribbean islands.
** The Millennium Coral Reef Mapping Project developed a geomorphologic classification of coral reefs. To make data comparable to other map sources, the Reefs
at Risk project selected a subset of 30 categories from the overall mapping effort. Categories with high probability of being living coral-such as forereef, inter-
tidal reef flat, barrier reef pinnacle, and shallow terrace-were included, while categories such as drowned bank and undetermined envelope were excluded. Full
details are available online at http://reefsatrisk.wri.org.


70 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN








* US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), "Benthic Habitats of Puerto Rico
and the U.S. Virgin Islands," 2001, from high-resolution
aerial photography.
* Coastal Zone Management Institute of Belize, 1999. (30-m
Landsat data classified and converted to shapefile, for
Belize).
* For other areas, UNEP-WCMC "Coral Reef Maps," 2002.
Data have been acquired or digitized from a variety of
sources. Scales typically range from 1:60,000 to
1:1,000,000.
* In addition, WRI edited and digitized maps for some areas
based on input from project partners.


MODEL CALIBRATION AND VALIDATION
Data from a range of monitoring and assessment programs
were used to explore patterns of degradation, calibrate the
threat analysis, and validate the results:

* Caribbean Coastal Productivity Program (CARICOMP)-
Coral reef habitat parameters for 27 reef locations across 20
countries (1993 2001).
* Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA)-This
assessment protocol has been applied at over 730 reef loca-
tions in 17 countries across the region between 1997 and
2001, providing a (one-time) snapshot of many indicators of
reef condition.
* Reef Check-Volunteer survey program. The protocol has
collected social, physical, and biological parameters at 186
sites in 16 countries within the region since 1997.
* The Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF)
Fish Survey-Data on coral reef fish populations from more
than 2,500 locations across the region.


Model Calibration
Reefs at Risk project partners have provided valuable guidance
on threat model development and review of model results.
This expert opinion, coupled with observations of threats to
reefs from Reef Check, was used to calibrate the estimates of
threat from coastal development and watershed-based sediment
and pollution. Data on coral reef fish populations from REEF
were used to calibrate the estimate of threat from fishing pres-
sure. Due to limited data of sufficient detail, expert opinion
during the Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean workshop was the
main source for calibration of the estimate of marine-based
threat.


Threat Analysis Validation and Exploration of
Relationships with Indictors from Assessment and
Monitoring Programs

Using results from the 22 CARICOMP sites that have trend
information (multiple years of data between 1993 and 2001)
the study finds:
* Sites identified as threatened by sediment and pollution
from inland sources had substantially higher average levels of
decline in hard coral cover (loss of 9 percent in high-threat
areas versus loss of 1 percent in low-threat areas).
* Sites identified as threatened (medium or high threat) from
coastal development or marine-based pollution had a much
larger average increases in extent of algal cover than sites
rated as low threat. (Increase was about twice as large on
threatened sites.)
* Few CARICOMP sites were identified as under low threat
from overfishing. Sites identified as under high threat from
overfishing pressure had larger average loss of hard coral
cover and larger gains in algae cover as compared with
medium threat sites.

Several coral condition indicators were developed for the 432
AGRRA assessment sites. These include coral density, ratios of
different coral species, extent of hard coral cover, recent and
old mortality, and a macroalgal index. Of these indicators, the
macroalgal index, old mortality, and hard coral cover had the
only statistically significant (95%) relationships with the threat
indicators. The three pollution-related threats (coastal develop-
ment, marine-based threats, and pollution and sediment from
inland sources) were combined for this analysis. The findings:

* Average extent of old mortality was higher on sites identified
as threatened by pollution. (29 percent on high versus 26
percent on low threat sites.)
* Average hard coral cover was slightly higher on sites identi-
fied as under low threat from pollution (8.2 percent) than
on high threat sites (7.3 percent).
* The average macroalgal index was higher on sites identified
as threatened by pollution (150 on high versus 123 on low
threat sites.)
* In addition, the average macroalgal index was higher on sites
identified as threatened by overfishing (170 on high versus
100 on low threat sites.)


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 71







Append9ix C INFORATIOACE IA TEA'::I A


Information available and limitations of current informa-
tion are presented in five broad categories-information on
the location and extent of coral reefs (reef mapping); infor-
mation on impacts to reefs and coral reef condition; accessi-
bility of such information; information on protection and
management of coastal resources; and valuation of these
resources. Attempts are underway to address many of the
deficiencies mentioned below.

CORAL REEF MAPPING

Estimates of coral reef area across the region vary widely (see
Table Al). For many countries, there are no national maps
of coral reefs, from which reef area can be estimated. The
U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) has recently improved the map-
ping of benthic habitat within U.S. waters in the Caribbean
region, and the Nature Conservancy's Bahamian Ecological
Planning project is improving mapping of coral reefs in the
Bahamas. In addition, the Millennium Coral Reef Mapping
project, a collaboration of the University of South Florida
and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA), is mapping global reef geomor-
phology from 30-m Landsat imagery. These maps are
expected to be released for the entire Caribbean during
2004. (See http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/reefs/.)

MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT

Information on coral reef condition is limited, partly due to
the vast area of coral reefs, spread across 35 countries and
territories, and partly due to the lack of financial resources
devoted to monitoring coastal ecosystems. There are, how-
ever, many noteworthy efforts within the Caribbean:
* An important effort within the region is the Caribbean
Coastal Productivity Program (CARICOMP), a long-
term monitoring program that uses a standardized moni-
toring method. CARICOMP has collected data at 27
reef locations across 20 countries, beginning in 1993. As
of 2001, repeat monitoring at 22 sites had established
temporal trends in such parameters as live coral cover.
(See http://www.uwimona.edu.jm/cms/ccdc.htm.)


* A more recent and more extensive effort in the region
focuses on assessment, rather than monitoring, of
resources. The Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment
(AGRRA) protocol has been applied at more than 730
reef locations in 17 countries across the region. This
assessment provides a snapshot of many indicators of reef
condition that will support setting of regional norms and
making comparisons among different areas in the region.

* Selected universities, marine labs, and government insti-
tutions across the region carry out a diverse array of
research, mapping, and monitoring activities on coral
reefs. The Association of Marine Labs of the Caribbean
(AMLC) meets annually to share information. Other
notable efforts are the Florida Keys National Marine
Sanctuary and Sistema Nacional de Monitoreo de
Arrecifes Coralinos en Colombia (SIMAC), which have
good time-series data sets for those areas.

* Several other important activities enlist volunteer divers
to monitor coral reefs. Since 1997, the Reef Check pro-
gram has documented social, physical, and biological
conditions at over 186 sites in 16 countries within the
region, providing information on benthic habitat, inver-
tebrates, and reef fish. (See http://www.reefcheck.org.)

* The Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF)
Fish Survey project allows volunteer scuba divers and
snorkelers to collect and report information on coral reef
fish populations. REEF has assessed more than 2,500
locations across the region. Recently, the Ocean
Conservancy has partnered with REEF to develop a ben-
thic component for sport divers termed RECON. (See
http://www.reef.org.)


DATA INTEGRATION AND ACCESSIBILITY

These assessment and monitoring activities provide valuable
information on a relatively limited number of coral reefs
across the Caribbean. At present, information from only
some of these sources is publicly available, and little of this
information has been consolidated into a central repository.


72 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN








Noteworthy efforts to consolidate information on coral reefs
include:
* ReefBase (http://www.reefbase.org)-Offers a wide
range of information on the world's coral reefs including
status summaries, a database on coral bleaching, satellite
images, and an Internet map server.

* The Caribbean Coastal Data Center, University of
West Indies (UWI)
(http://www.uwimona.edu.jm/cms/ccdc.htm)-A central
repository for information on Caribbean coral reefs and
coastal environmental data. An Internet map server is
planned for 2004.

* The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN)
(http://www.gcrmn.org/)-Using its collaborative net-
work, GCRMN has produced a biannual publication on
the status of the world's coral reefs since 1998. This pub-
lication provides a good text summary for each country
based on monitoring information, anecdotal observa-
tions, and expert opinion on observed impacts to coral
reefs and changes in the condition of coral reefs and the
associated fisheries.

* Coral Disease-Attempts are being made to consolidate
and maintain databases on coral disease and coral bleach-
ing. The University of Puerto Rico, NOAA, and UNEP-
WCMC provide extensive information on coral disease
incidence across the region. (See
http://www.wcmc.org.uk/marine/coraldis/home.htm.)

* Coral Bleaching-The Reef Base database maintains an
online database on coral bleaching. NOAA is working on
tools for predicting where bleaching might occur, given
sea surface temperatures and weather conditions. (See
http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/OSDPD/OSDPD_high_pro
d.html.)


PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT

Information on protection and management of coral reefs is
limited. Mapping of marine protected areas across the
region is inadequate, and associated information on the
management policies and use restrictions within Marine
Protected Areas (MPAs) is often unavailable. Also unavail-


able is information about effectiveness of management
within MPAs, which would allow the differentiation of
"paper parks" from areas offering actual protection.
Information on protected areas and the sharing of experi-
ences should improve in the future under the Caribbean
Marine Protected Areas Network and Forum (CaMPAM),
an initiative aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of MPAs.

ECONOMIC VALUE

The true economic value of coral reefs is often not recog-
nized, and this reduces the incentives for effective manage-
ment of these vital resources. Studies on the economic value
of coral reefs within the Caribbean are few, and those that
have been done have used such varied methods that com-
parison between studies is often difficult. Attempts are
being made to encourage more consistent valuation of
coastal resources in the Caribbean region. (See http://mari-
neeconomics.noaa.gov/.)


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 73










ACRONYMS
AGRRA Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment
CARICOMP Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity Program
CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
ENSO El Nifo Southern Oscillation
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GIS Geographic Information System
ICM Integrated Coastal Management
LBS Land-Based Sources
MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
MPA Marine Protected Area
SPAW Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (Protocol of Cartagena Convention)
SST Sea Surface Temperature
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization



GLOSSARY
Anthropogenic made by people or resulting from human activities.
Bank reef large reef growths, generally having irregular shape, surrounded by deeper waters.
Barrier reef a long, narrow coral reef, roughly parallel to the shore and separated from it by a lagoon of considerable
depth and width. It is often interrupted by passes or channels.
Bathymetry the measurement of ocean depth to determine the topography of the sea floor.
Biodiversity the total diversity and variability of living things and the systems (e.g., coral reefs), of which they are part.
Coral bleaching the process in which a coral polyp, under environmental stress, expels its symbiotic zooxanthellae
from its body. The affected coral colony appears whitened.
Coral disease any impairment of the coral's vital functions or systems, including interruption, cessation, proliferation,
or other vital function.
Eutrophication the process by which an excess of nutrients stimulates the growth of plants, depleting the water of oxygen.
Fringing reef a shelf reef that grows close to shore. Some develop around oceanic islands. A synonym of shore reef.
Greenhouse Gases (GHG) atmospheric gases, primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, restricting some
heat energy from escaping from the Earth's atmosphere directly back into space.
Larvae juvenile stage of an animal's life cycle.
Passenger bed-days a common measurement of occupancy used by the cruise line industry. "Bed days" are calculated
by multiplying the number of beds occupied by the number of days they are occupied.
Pathogen an organism that causes a disease within another organism.
Photosynthesis process by which plants manufacture their own energy from the chemical reaction of carbon dioxide
and water in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll. Oxygen is a photochemical byproduct of photosynthesis.
Riparian on a river bank.
Substrate the material making up the base upon which an organism lives or to which it is attached.
Upwelling a process in which warm surface water is drawn away from a shore by offshore currents (driven by wind
for example), which is replaced by cold, often nutrient-rich water brought up from deeper regions to the surface.
Zooxanthellae symbiotic single-celled plants living within reef-building corals. They provide food through photosyn-
thesis, which are used as one source of energy for the coral polyps. They also provide coloration for the corals (see
coral bleaching).


74 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN










Notes


1 Previous estimates of Caribbean coral reef area have ranged from 20,000 to 30,000
sq km. See Appendix A, Table Al for comparison by country and Appendix B for
sources for coral reef map and reef area estimates.
2 M.D. Spalding, Guide to the Coral Reef of the Caribbean (Berkeley, California:
University of California Press, 2004).
3 TA. Gardner et al. 2003. "Long-Term Region-Wide Declines in Caribbean Corals."
Science 301:958-960.
4 Spalding (2004).
5 TP Hughes et al. 2003. "Climate Change, Human Impacts, and the Resilience of
Coral Reefs." Science 301:929-933.
6 E.P Green and A.W Bruckner. 2000. I I. nificance of Coral Disease
Epizootiology for Coral Reef Conservation." Biological Conservation 96: 347-461.
7 D.L. Bryant et al., Reef at Risk: A Map-Based Indicator of Threat to the World's Coral
Reef. (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute, 1998).
8 A. Vanzella-Khouri, "Marine Biodiversity Issues in the Wider Caribbean Region."
Paper presented at the Caribbean Workshop on Marine Biodiversity, Montego Bay,
Jamaica, October 27-29, 1998.
9 PA. Kramer. 2003. "Synthesis of Coral Reef Health Indicators for the Western
Atlantic: Results of the AGRRA Program (1997-2000)," in Status of the Coral Reefi
of the Western Atlantic: Results of the Initial Survey, Atlantic and GulfRapid Reef
Assessment (AGRRA) Program. J.C. Lang, ed. Atoll Research Bulletin 496: 1-57.
10 Population count and density within 10 km of the coast was calculated at WRI
using gridded population data sets from CIESIN for 1990 and 2000 (Center for
International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Gridded Population of
the World, Version 3 (Palisades, NY: CIESIN, Columbia University, 2003)) and
1:250,000 World Vector Shoreline (E.A. Soluri and VA. Woodson. 1990. "World
Vector Shoreline." International Hydrographic Review 67 (1).). (See Table A3.)
11 Calculated at WRI using US DOE LandScan Population data, World Vector
Shoreline, and coral reef data from sources described in Appendix B.
12 S.C. Jameson, J.M. McManus, and M.D. Spalding, State of the Reef: Regional and
Global Perspectives (Washington, DC: US Department of State, 1995)
13 D. Souter and O. Linden. 2000. "The Health and Future of Coral Reef Systems."
Ocean and Coastal Management 43:657-688.
14 Souter and Linden (2000).
15 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Municipal Waste Water as a Land-
Based Source ofPollution in Coastal and Marine Areas ofLatin America and the
Caribbean (GPA and UNEP-ROLAC, 2001a), p. 8.
16 D.D. Turgeon et al., The State of Coral ReefEcosystems of the United States and Pacific
Freely Associated States: 2002 (Silver Spring, MD: National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), 2002), p. 108.
17 UNEP (2001a), p. 15.
18 L. Burke et al., PilotAnalysis of Global Ecosystems: Coastal Ecosystems (Washington,
DC: World Resources Institute, 2000), p. 67; P Pattullo, Last Resorts The Cost of
Tourism in the Caribbean (London, UK: Cassell, 1996).
19 Percentages of land classified as agricultural are based on the 1-km resolution Global
Land Cover Characterization Database from USGS (1997). Land area classed as
cropland" plus one half of lands classed as "ag/natural mosaic" as percentage of
total.
20 H.M. Guzman, "The Caribbean Coral Reefs of Panama," in Latin American Coral
Reef. J. Cortes, ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier Press, 2003), p. 260; J. Cortes and C.
Jimenez, "Past, Present and Future of the Coral Reefs of the Caribbean Coast of
Costa Rica," in Latin American Coral Reef. J. Cortes, ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier Press,
2003), p. 233; J. Ryan and Y Zapata, "Nicaragua's Coral Reefs," in Latin American
Coral Reef. J. Cortes, ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier Press, 2003), p. 211.
21 Crop acreage for the Caribbean from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),
2002. FAOSTAT (C I.. 1 ., .
22 S. Wood, K. Sebastian, and S.J. Scherr, Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems:
AgroEcosystems (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute, 2000), p. 36.
23 Burke et al. (2000) p. 85.
24 E. Well, "The Corals and Coral Reefs of Venezuela," in Latin American Coral Reefi.
J. Cortes, ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier Press, 2003), p. 314.
25 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Regional Overview ofLand-Based
Sources of Marine Pollution: CEP Technical Report No. 33 (UNEP, 1994).


26 Watersheds were delineated at WRI as part of the Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean
project. Using the USGS HYDRO1K Digital Elevation Model (DEM), we identi-
fied 3,117 watersheds (minimum size of 35 sq km) discharging to the Caribbean.
Watersheds were delineated at WRI as part of the Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean
project. Using the USGS HYDRO1K Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for the conti-
nent and large islands, and NASAs SRTM data for the Eastern Caribbean, the proj-
ect identified over 3,200 watersheds discharging to the Caribbean.
27 J. Sweeting and S. Wayne, A Shifting Tide: Environmental Challenges and Cruise
Industry Responses (Washington DC: Conservation International, 2003), p. 16.
28 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Pollution from the Land: The Threat
to Our Seas (The Hague, Netherlands: UNEP GPA Coordination Office, 2001b);
UNEP (1994).
29 Z. Dubinsky and N. Stambler. 1996. "Marine Pollution and Coral Reefs." Global
Change Biology 2:511- 26.
30 Sweeting and Wayne (2003), p. 16.
31 J. Mohammed, R. Torres, and E. Obenshain, Waste Reduction at Sea: Pollution
Prevention Strategies on Miami-Based Cruise Lines (Miami: Division of Marine
Affairs, University of Miami, 1998).
32 Pattullo (1996).
33 The Ocean Conservancy, Cruise Control (Washington, DC: The Ocean Conservancy,
2002), p. 9.
34 Ibid., p. 11. Estimate based on bed-day information from "2000 Cruise Line
Destination Analysis" and on waste generation rates of 3.5 kg per person per day,
from International Maritime Organization (IMO) estimates.
35 UNEP (1994).
36 WRI developed an estimate for the Wider Caribbean based on data from the Ocean
Conservancy, "International Coastal Cleanup 2003: Peoples, Pounds, Miles-List of
Countries." Online, I.... ..1 I .....I .. (Accessed January2004.)
37 The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships was
adopted in 1973. This convention was subsequently modified by Protocol 1978
relating thereto, which was adopted in 1978. The protocol introduced stricter regu-
lations for the survey and certification of ships. The convention and protocol are to
be read as one instrument, usually referred to as MARPOL 73/78.
38 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). 2001c. "An Overview of Land-
Based Sources of Marine Pollution." Online at
... i .... 11 II I, ..I (Accessed 15 June 2002).
39 International Maritime Organization (IMO), The Caribbean Sea: A Very SpecialArea
(IMO, 1994), p. 7.
40 MARPOL The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from
Ships, 1973; London Dumping Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution
by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972; OPRC International Convention
on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation, 1990; CLC -
International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969;
FUND International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund
for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, 1971.
41 Hughes et al. (2003).
42 J.A. Bohnsack, "The Impacts of Fishing on Coral Reefs," in Proceedings of the
Colloquium on GlobalAspects of Coral Reefi: Health, Hazards and History. R.
Ginsburg, ed. (Miami: Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences,
University of Miami, 1993), pp. 196-200.
43 J.L. Munro, "Effects of Fishing on Coral Reef Ecosystems," in Proceedings of the
Norway/UN Conference on the Ecosystem Approach to Sustainable Use of Biological
Diversity. (Trondheim: Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management &
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, 1999), p.282.
44 Bohnsack (1993).
45 J.W McManus et al. 2000. "Coral Reef Fishing and Coral-Algal Phase Shifts:
Implications for Global Reef Status." ICES Journal of Marine Science 57:572-578.
46 J.N. Butler et al. 1993. "The Bermuda Fisheries: A Tragedy of the Commons
Averted?" Environment 35 (1): 7-33.
47 C. Roberts. 1995. "Effect of Fishing on the Ecosystem Structure of Reefs."
Conservation Biology 9 (5): 988-995.
48 Bohnsack (1993).


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 75










49 B. Chakalall, R. Mahon, and P McConvey, "Fisheries Governance in the
Caribbean," in ACP-EU Fisheries Research Initiative Workshop: Proceedings of the
Third Dialogue Meeting; Caribbean and Pacific and the European Union, Belize City,
Belize, 5-10 December 1996 (Brussels: European Commission, 1997).
50 FR. Gell and C.M. Roberts, The Fishery Effects of Marine Reserves and Fishery
Closures (Washington DC: World Wildlife Fund, 2002).
51 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2001:
Synthesis Report (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001a).
52 Ibid.
53 R.W Buddemeier, J.A. Kleypas, and R.B. Aronson, Coral Reefi and Global Climate
Change: Potential Contributions of Climate Change to Stresses on Coral ReefEcosystems
(Arlington, VA: Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 2004).
54 PL. Jokiel and S. L. Coles. 1977. "Effects of Temperature on the Mortality and
Growth of Hawaiian Reef Corals." Marine Biology 43:201-208; PL. Jokiel and S. L.
Coles. 1990. "Response of Hawaiian and Other Indo-Pacific Reef Corals to Elevated
Temperature." Coral Reefi 8:155-162; PW Glynn and L. D'Croz. 1990.
"Experimental Evidence for High Temperature Stress as the Cause of El Nino-
Coincident Coral Mortality." Coral Reefi 8:181-191.
55 A.E. Strong et al. 1997. "Improved Satellite Techniques for Monitoring of Coral
Reef Bleaching," in Proceedings of the Eighth International Coral ReefSymposium
2:1495-1498.
56 PW Glynn. 1984. "Widespread Coral Mortality and the 1982-83 El Nino
Warming Event." Environmental Conservation 11:133-146; B.E. Brown and
Suharsano. 1990. "Damage and Recovery of Coral Reefs Affected by El Nino
Related Seawater Warming in Thousand Islands, Indonesia." Coral Reef 8:163-170;
M. Croffroth, H. Lasker, and J.K. Oliver, "Coral Mortality Outside the Eastern
Pacific During 1982-83: relationship to El Nino," in Global Consequences of the
1982-83 El Nino Southern Oscillation. P Glynn, ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier Press,
1990), pp. 141-147; PA. Marshall and A. H. Baird. 2000. "Bleaching of Corals on
the Great Barrier Reef: Differential Susceptibilities Among Taxa." Coral Reefi
19:155-163; PA. Kramer and PR. Kramer. 2002. "Transient and Lethal Effects of
the 1998 Coral Bleaching Event on the Mesoamerican Reef System." Proceedings of
the Ninth International Coral ReefSymposium 2:1175-1180.
57 Spalding (2004).
58 PW Glynn. 1996. "Coral Reef Bleaching: Facts, Hypotheses and Implications."
Global Change Biology 2:495-509.
59 Reefbase, "Coral Bleaching Dataset," online lI., II (downloaded
10 August 2004).
60 E.H. Williams, Jr. and L. Bunkley-Williams. 1988. "Bleaching of Caribbean Coral
Reef Symbionts in 1987-1988." Proceedings of the 6th International Coral Reef
Symposium 3:313-318; J.C. Lang et al. 1992. "Spatial and Temporal Variability
During Periods of 'Recovery' after Mass Bleaching on Western Atlantic Coral Reefs."
American Zoologist 32:696-706.
61 J.M. Lough. 2000. "1997-98: Unprecedented Thermal Stress to Coral Reefs?"
Geophysical Research Letters 23:3901-3904.
62 C. Wilkinson, Status of Coral Reef of the World: 2000 (Townsville: Australian
Institute Marine Science, 2000).
63 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2001: The
Scientific Basis (Cambridge, UK Cambridge University Press, 2001b).
64 O. Hoegh-Guldberg. 1999. "Climate Change, Coral Bleaching and the Future of
the World's Coral Reefs." Marine and Freshwater Research 50:839-866.
65 A.C. Baker et al.. 2004. "Corals' Adaptive Response to Climate Change." Nature
430:741.
66 WF Precht and R.B Aronson. 2003. "Climate Flickers and Range Shifts of Corals."
Geological Society ofAmerica Abstracts with Programs 35:84.
67 S.B. Goldenberg et al.. 2001. "The Recent Increase in Atlantic Hurricane Activity:
Causes and Implications." Science 293:474-479; L. Bengtsson. 2001. "Hurricane
Threats." Science 293:440-441.
68 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2001:
Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
2001c).
69 B.E. Brown, "Disturbances to Reefs in Recent Times," in Life and Death of Coral
Reef. C. Birkeland, ed. (New York: Chapman & Hall, 1997), p. 377.
70 IPCC (2001c).
71 A.C. Neumann and I. MacIntyre. 1985. "Reef Response to Sea Level Rise: Keep-Up,
Catch-Up or Give-Up." Proceedings of the Fifth International Coral Reef Congress,
Tahiti, 1985, vol. 3.


72 Brown (1997), p. 377.
73 Brown (1997), p. 378.
74 J.A. Kleypas et al.. 1999. "Geochemical Consequences of Increased Atmospheric
Carbon Dioxide on Coral Reefs." Science 284:118-120.
75 J.K Reaser, R. Pomerance and PO. Thomas. 2000. "Coral Bleaching and Global
Climate Change: Scientific Findings and Policy Recommendations." Conservation
Biology 14: 500-1511.
76 Green and Bruckner (2000).
77 H.A. Lessios, D.R. Robertson and J.D. Cubit. 1984. "Spread of Diadema Mass
Mortality throughout the Caribbean." Science 226:335-337.
78 WB. Gladfelter. 1982. "White Band Disease in Acroporapalmata: Implications for
the Structure and Growth of Shallow Reefs." Bulletin of Marine Science 32:639-643;
R.B. Aronson and WF Precht, "Evolutionary Palaeoecology of Caribbean Coral
Reefs," in Evolutionary Paleoecology: The Ecological Context ofMacroevolutionary
Change. WD. Allmon and D.J. Bottjer, eds. (New York: Columbia University Press,
2001), pp. 171-233.
79 I. Nagelkerken et al. 1997. "Widespread Disease in Caribbean Sea Fans: 1.
Spreading and General Characteristics." Proceedings of the 8th International Coral
ReefSymposium 1:679-682.
80 E. Well, "Caribbean Coral Reef Diseases, Status and Research Needs." Abstract pre-
pared for Workshop on Priorities for Caribbean Coral Reef Research, Rosenstiel
School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Florida, October
3-5, 2001; P Dustan. 1977. "Vitality of Reef Coral Populations off Key Largo,
Florida: Recruitment and Mortality." Environmental Geology 2:51-58.
81 United Nations Environment Program-World Conservation Monitoring Center
(UNEP-WCMC) Global Coral Disease Database (GCDD) (US NOAA and UNEP-
WCMC, 2001). Online ., I.,, ... uk/marine/coraldis/.
82 Weil (2001); Kramer (2003).
83 Weil (2001).
84 V.H. Garisson, et al.. 2003. "African and Asian Dust: From Desert Soils to Coral
Reefs." Bioscience 53:469-480.
85 E.C. Peters, "Diseases of Coral Reef Organisms," in Life and Death of Coral Reef. C.
Birkeland, ed. (New York: Chapman & Hall, 1997).
86 The "integrated threat" index includes a "very high" rating for areas rated as I. I"
for three or four of the individual threat indicators.
87 Gardner et al. (2003).
88 Kramer (2003).
89 Ibid.
90 G. Hodgson and J. Liebeler, The Global Coral Reef Crisis Trends and Solutions: 5 Years
ofReef Check (USA: University of California, 2002).
91 Kramer (2003).
92 Calculated at WRI using Reef Check survey data from 1998-2002 (160 observa-
tions).
93 Calculated at WRI using CARICOMP data. Of the 27 CARICOMP sites for which
data were available, 22 sites had multiple years of data. Live hard coral cover for first
and last available year were compared.
94 Kramer (2003).
95 UNESCO, CARICOMP Caribbean Coral Reef Seagrass and Mangrove Sites (Paris:
UNESCO, 1998), p. 229.
96 G. Gaufdian and P Medley, "The Turks and Caicos," in Seas at the Millennium: An
Environmental Evaluation. Vol 1 Regional Chapters: Europe, The Americas and West
Africa. C.R.C. Sheppard, ed. (Oxford, UK Elsevier Press, 2000), p. 589.
97 K.C. Buchan, "The Bahamas" in Seas at the Millennium: An Environmental
Evaluation. Vol 1 Regional Chapters: Europe, The Americas and West Africa. C.R.C.
Sheppard, ed. (Oxford, UK: Elsevier Press, 2000), p. 421.
98 D. Linton et al., "Status of Coral Reefs in the Northern Caribbean and Atlantic
Node of the GCRMN," in Status of Coral Reef of the World: 2002. C. Wilkinson,
ed. (Townsville: Australian Institute of Marine Science, 2002), p. 280.
99 Ibid., p. 269.
100 Ibid., p. 284.
101 Ibid., p. 285.
102 Ibid., p. 287.
103 Buchan (2000), p. 423.
104 Linton et al. (2002), p. 287.
105 Ibid., p. 290.
106 R. Claro, KC. Lindeman, and L.R. Parent, Ecology of Marine Fishes of Cuba
(Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001), pp. 194-219.


76 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN










107 Linton et al. (2002), p. 285.
108 Ibid., p. 281.
109 Ibid., p. 282.
110 C. Manfrino et al.. 2003. "Status of the Coral Reefs of Little Cayman, Grand
Cayman and Cayman Brac, British West Indies, in 1999 and 2000," in Status of the
Coral Reefi of the Western Atlantic: Results of the Initial Survey, Atlantic and GulfRapid
ReefAssessment (AGRRA) Program. J.C. Lang, ed. Atoll Research Bulletin 496:204-
226.
111 Linton et al. (2002), p. 287.
112 Manfrino et al. (2003).
113 Linton et al. (2002), p. 285.
114 B. Causey et al., "Status of Coral Reefs in the US Caribbean and GulfofMexico,"
in Status of Coral Reefi of the World: 2002. C. Wilkinson, ed. (Townsville: Australian
Institute of Marine Science, 2002), p. 263.
115 Turgeon et al. (2002), p. 6.
116 Ibid., p. 123.
117 Ibid.
118 Causey et al. (2002), p. 256.
119 J.R. Garcia et al., "Puerto Rican Reefs," in Latin American Coral Reef. J. Cortes, ed.
(Amsterdam: Elsevier Press, 2003), p. 126.
120 R. Mahon. 1993. "Lesser Antilles," in Marine Fishery Resources of the Antilles: Lesser
Antilles, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper
326, pp. 1-98.
121 Mahon (1993).
122 PA. Murray, K.E. Nichols, and R. Delaney, "Global Climate Change: How Might it
Affect the Fisheries of the Caribbean SIDS?" in Proceeding of the Fifty-fourth Annual
Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute. L. Creswell, ed. (Fort Pierce, Florida: GCFI,
2003).
123 Pattullo (1996).
124 C.S. Rogers and J. Beets. 2001. "Degradation of Marine Ecosystems and Decline of
Fishery Resources in Marine Protected Areas in the US Virgin Islands."
Environmental Conservation 28(4): 312-322.
125 A.F Smith, C.S. Rogers, and C. Bouchon. 1999. "Status of Western Atlantic Coral
Reefs in the Lesser Antilles." Proceedings of the 8th International Coral Reef
Symposium, pp. 351-356.
126 Rogers and Beets (2001).
127 Causey et al. (2002), p. 256.
128 Spalding et al. (2001), p. 168.
129 J. Garz6n-Ferreira et al., "Status of Coral Reefs in Southern Tropical America," in
Status of Coral Reefi of the World: 2002. C. Wilkinson, ed. (Townsville: Australian
Institute of Marine Science, 2002), p. 326.
130 E. Well, "The Corals and Coral Reefs of Venezuela," in Latin American Coral Reef.
J. Cortes, ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier Press, 2003), p. 321.
131 UNESCO (1998), p. 144.
132 Weil (2003), p. 320.
133 Ibid.
134 J. Ryan and Y. Zapata, "Nicaraguas Coral Reefs," in Latin American Coral Reef. J.
Cortes, ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier Press, 2003), p. 212.
135 H.M. Guzman, "The Caribbean Coral Reefs of Panama," in Latin American Coral
Reef. J. Cortes, ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier Press, 2003), p. 246.
136 J. Garz6n-Ferreira and J.M. Dfaz, "The Caribbean Coral Reefs of Colombia," in
Latin American Coral Reef. J. Cortes, ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier Press, 2003), p. 275
137 Ryan and Zapata (2003), p. 213.
138 Guzman (2003), p. 249.
139 Ibid., p. 246.
140 H.M. Guzman, C. Guevara, and A. Castillo. 2003. "Natural Disturbances and
Mining of Panamanian Coral Reefs by Indigenous People." Conservation Biology
17(5): 1396-1401.
141 Guzman (2003), p. 260.
142 Garz6n-Ferreira and Dfaz (2003), p. 280.
143 B. Salvat et al., Coral ReefProtectedAreas in International Instruments: World Heritage
Convention, World Network of Biosphere Reserves, Ramsar Convention (Moorea,
French Polynesia: CRIOBE-EPHE, 2002), p. 73.
144 Spalding et al. (2001), p. 115.
145 E. Jordan-Dahlgren and R.E. Rodrfguez-Martfnez, "The Atlantic Coral Reefs of
Mexico," in Latin American Coral Reef. J. Cortes, ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier Press,
2003), p. 150.


146 P. Almada-Villela et al., "Status of Coral Reefs of Mesoamerica," in Status of Coral
Reefi of the World: 2002. C. Wilkinson, ed. (Townsville: Australian Institute of
Marine Science, 2002), p. 312.
147 A.R. Harborne, D.C. Afzal and M.J. Andrews. 2001. "Honduras: Caribbean Coast.
Marine Pollution Bulletin 42(12): 1221-1235.
148 Jordan-Dahlgren and Rodrfguez-Martfnez (2003), p. 152.
149 M.D. McField, "The Influence of Disturbances and Management on Coral Reef
Community Structures in Belize." Ph.D. thesis, University of South Florida, 2001,
p. 8.
150 International Coral Reef Initiative. "Better Banana Project: Controlling Erosion and
Pollution from Banana Plantations." Available online at
," 1 I , .. . '.... . ,, I ... ... L ,. I
151 McField (2001), p. 47.
152 R.B. Aronson et al. 2000. "Coral Bleach-Out in Belize." Nature 405:36.
153 PJ. Mumby. 1999. "Bleaching and Hurricane Disturbances to Populations of Coral
Recruits in Belize." Marine Ecology Progress Series 190:27-35.
154 P. Almada-Villela et al. (2002), p. 314.
155 Ibid., p. 316.
156 Jordan-Dahlgren and Rodrfguez-Martfnez (2003), p. 134.
157 Turgeon et al. (2002), p. 148.
158 Ibid., p. 7.
159 Ibid., p. 144.
160 Jordan-Dahlgren and Rodrfguez-Martfnez (2003), p. 151.
161 E. Jordan-Dahlgren. 1993. "El Ecosistema Arrecifial Coralino del Atlantico
Mexicano." Rev. Soc. Mex. Hist. Nat. 44:157-175.
162 Jordan-Dahlgren and Rodrfguez-Martfnez (2003), p. 150.
163 Turgeon, et al. (2002), p. 101.
164 J.W Porter et al., "Detection of Coral Reef Change by the Florida Keys Coral Reef
Monitoring Project," in The Everglades, Florida Bay, and Coral Reefi of the Florida
Keys: An Ecosystem Sourcebook. J.W Porter and K.G. Porter, eds. (Boca Raton, FL:
CRC Press, 2002), pp. 749-769.
165 Turgeon et al. (2002), p. 6.
166 Causey et al. (2002), p. 254.
167 Turgeon et al. (2002), p. 107.
168 J. Ault et al., Site Characterization for Biscayne Bay National Park: Assessment of
Fisheries Resource andHabitats (Miami: Department of the Interior, Biscayne Bay
National Park Report, 2001).
169 Turgeon et al. (2002), p. 6.
170 Causey et al. (2002), p. 275.
171 Turgeon et al. (2002), p. 111.
172 Ibid., p. 108.
173 Linton et al. (2002), p. 281.
174 G. Llewellyn. 1998. "Why Preserve Biodiversity? Building an Economic Case for
Preserving Coral Reefs." Journal of Coastal Development 2 (1): 319 328.
175 J. Spurgeon. 1992. "The Economic Valuation of Coral Reefs." Marine Pollution
Bulletin 24:529-536.
176 A meta-database summarizing economic valuation studies is available online at
S ........ .. .... .. .. o v.
177 J.A. Dixon, L.F Scura, and T van't Hof 1993. "Meeting Ecological and Economic
Goals: Marine Parks in the Caribbean." Ambio 22 (2-3): 117-125.
178 Z. Sary, J.L.Munro, and J.D. Woodley. "Status Report on a Jamaican Fishery:
Current Value and the Costs of Non-Management," in Proceedings of the Fifty-fourth
Annual Gulfand Caribbean Fisheries Institute. L. Creswell, ed. (Fort Pierce, Florida:
GCFI, 2003).
179 L. Pendleton. 1994. "Environmental Quality and Recreation Demand in a
Caribbean Coral Reef." Coastal Management 22:399-404; V Leeworthy, Recreational
Use Value for John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Key Largo Marine Sanctuary
(Rockville, MD: Strategic Assessment Branch, NOAA, 1991).
180 R. Costanza et al. 1997. "The Value of the World's Ecosystem Services and Natural
Capital." Nature 387:253-260; H. Cesar, L. Burke and L. Pet-Soede, The Economics
of Worldwide Coral Reef Degradation (Zeist, the Netherlands: WWF Netherlands,
2003).
181 L. Burke, L. Selig and M. Spalding, Reefi at Risk in Southeast Asia (Washington, DC:
World Resources Institute, 2002).
182 M. Haughton, "Compliance and Enforcement of Fisheries Regulations in the
Caribbean" in Proceedings of the Fifry-fourth Annual Gulfand Caribbean Fisheries
Institute. L. Creswell, ed. (Fort Pierce, Florida: GCFI, 2003).


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 77










183 Ibid.
184 Ibid.
185 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 2002. FAOSTAT Online at


186 J.L. Munro. 1974. "The Biology, Ecology, Exploitation and Management of
Caribbean Reef Fishes. Part VI. Assessment of the Potential Productivity of Jamaican
Fisheries." Research Reports fom the Zoology Department of the University of the West
Indies 3 (VI): 1-55; Mahon (1993); Sary, Munro, and Woodley (2003); D.E.
McAllister. 1988. "Environmental, Economic and Social Costs of Coral Reef
Destruction in the Philippines." Galaxea 7:161-178. McAllister estimated coral reef
fisheries productivity at 18 mt/kr2/yr on reefs in excellent condition, 13 mt/km2/yr
on reefs in good condition, 8 mt/kr2/yr on reefs in fair condition, and 3 mt/km2/yr
on reefs in poor condition. Reefs in Southeast Asia exhibit higher productivity than
Caribbean reefs, but overall proportions are informative.
187 Sary, Munro, and Woodley (2003).
188 A market price of US$6 per kg was used for 2000 and 2015. Although declines in
productivity (and associated harvest) would tend to reduce supply and could lead to
price increases, overfishing of reefs will also result in catches of smaller and less valu-
able fish, which would tend to offset any increase in price.
189 Fishing costs vary widely between the U.S. and developing countries within the
region, ranging between 20 and 90 percent. Kearney and Centaur (Kearney and
Centaur. 1984. "Economic Impact of the Commercial Fishing Industry in the Gulf
of Mexico and South Atlantic Regions." Final Report 8318 to the Gulfand South
Atlantic Fisheries Development Foundation, Inc) suggest returns in U.S. fisheries rang-
ing between 11 and 36 percent. Pomeroy (Economic Analysis for the Siting of Marine
ProtectedAreas: A Case Study in the British Virgin Islands, unpublished) found returns
of about 80 percent in the British Virgin Islands. We chose 50 percent net return as
an average for the region.
190 World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Caribbean Travel & Tourism -A World
of Opportunity: The 2003 Travel & Tourism Economic Research (London, UK:
WTTC, 2003). International tourism receipts contribute more than 10 percent of
GDP in Caribbean countries overall.
191 Pattullo (1996).
192 Tourism receipt data from CTO (2002) and Development Data Group, The World
Bank, World Development Indictors 2002 (Washington, D.C.: The World Bank,
2002); data on the value of the tourism economy from WTTC (2003).
193 WTTC (2003).
194 Pendleton (1994).
195 E. Green and R. Donnelly. 2003. "Recreational Scuba Diving in the Caribbean
Marine Protected Areas: Do the Users Pay?" Ambio 32 (2): 140-144. This study
focused on diving outside of the United States. As much of the diving in Florida is
in marine protected areas (MPAs), the statistic seems valid for the broader region.
196 Based on data in Green and Donnelly (2003); G. M. Johns,. VR. Leeworthy, F W
Bell, and M. A. Bonn, Socioeconomic Study ofReefi in Southeast Florida: Final Report
(Hazen and Sawyer, Florida State University, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, 2001). Online I. ........ .. .... .. .. ov.
197 Diving outside of the United States generated an estimated $4.1 billion in 2000,
which is 17 percent of total international tourism receipts, excluding the United
States. (SeeAppendixA, TableA4.)
198 Cline Group 1997. "Diving Industry Consumer Study." Online at http://www.cline-
group.net/diving.
199 Visitor expenditure for 2000 derived from Table 55 in CTO (2002), p. 101.
200 CTO (2002), p. 101; supported by Cline Group (1997).
201 The estimate of numbers of divers in the region and associated gross revenue is based
on integration and cross-tabulation of several data sources. Two market survey
reports provided detailed information on divers from the United States: Cline
Group. 1995. "Diving Manufacturer and Travel Industry Retailer Study" and Cline
Group. 1997. "Diving Industry Consumer Study". Both online at http://www.cline-
group.net/diving. These data were supplemented with information from personal
communication with William R. Cline (November, 2003); CTO (2002); Pattullo
(1996); Green and Donnelly (2003); Johns et al (2001).
202 Ibid.
203 Ibid.
204 Johns et al. (2001). (4.5 million person days of scuba diving in South Florida con-
tributed an estimated US$625 million in expenditures and 16,000 jobs. 4.2 million
person days of snorkeling contributed an estimated US$340 million in expenditures
and 7,400 jobs.)


205 Net benefits from tourism and the multiplier used were adapted from H. Cesar, P
Beukering and G. Berdt Romilly, Mainstreaming Economic Valuation in Decision
Making: Coral ReefExamples in Selected CARICOM-Countries (Arnhem, The
Netherlands: World Bank and ARCADIS Euroconsult, 2003) Their analysis used
"value added of direct expenditures" of 25-40 percent and a multiplier of 25 per-
cent.
206 PADI certifies most of the world's scuba divers. During the 1990s, dive certification
increased at an average of 7 percent a year. Online at
... I i ... .. lish/common/padi/statistics/3.asp.
207 Burke et al. (2000).
208 H. Berg et al. 1998. "Environmental Economics of Coral Reef Destruction in Sri
Lanka," inAmbio 27 (8): 627-634.
209 G. Chambers. 1997. "Beach Changes in the Eastern Caribbean Islands: Hurricane
Impacts and Implications for Climate Change." Journal of Coastal Research Special
Issue 24:29-47.
210 Ibid.
211 Shorelines-World Vector Shoreline (E.A. Soluri and VA. Woodson. 1990. "World
Vector Shoreline". International Hydrographic Review, LXVII(1)) and NIMA. 1997.
"VMAP National boundaries". Land areas of 100 hectares minimum were identified,
and the associated shoreline was converted into a GRID for the analysis. Coral
Reefs See Appendix B for data sources.
212 To estimate the economic value of the shoreline protection services provided along
these coastlines, we relied on earlier studies (H. Cesar, ed., Collected Essays on the
Economics of Coral Reefi (Kalmar, Sweden: CORDIO, 2000); Cesar, Burke, and Pet-
Soede (2003)) and estimates of past expenditures for artificial replacement of this
protection (Berg (1998); S.J. Williams, K. Dodd, and K.K. Gohn. 1995. "Coast in
Crisis." US Geological Survey Circular 1075; Herman Cesar, personal communica-
tion). These estimates ranged from about US$50,000 to US$800,000 or more for
each km of coastline protected by coral reefs.
213 Assumptions of the degree of loss of shoreline protection function provided by coral
reefs were made by the Reefs at Risk project based upon input from project partners.
Information from the literature on this topic is quite limited. Reefs under low threat
are assumed to provide 100 percent of their current coastal protection service; reefs
under medium and high threat are assumed to provide 90 percent and 80 percent of
current service, respectively.
214 Shoreline segments were assigned the threat category of the nearest reef. About two-
thirds (67 percent) of shoreline areas were near high-threat reefs, 18 percent were
near medium-threat reefs, and 16 percent were near low-threat reefs. Shoreline near
high- and medium-threat reefs (a total of 84 percent) were assumed to experience a
reduction in shoreline protection services. The estimate of loss in coastal protection
function is based on cross-tabulation of estimates of level of development along a
given shoreline area and threat estimate of the nearest coral reef.
215 A. Bruckner. 2002. "Life-Saving Products from Coral Reefs." Issues in Science and
Technology 18 (3): 39-44.
216 Cesar, Burke, and Pet-Soede (2003).
217 E. Chivian, C. Roberts, and A. Bernstein. 2003. "The Threat to Cone Snails." Letter
to Science 302, p.391.
218 Cesar, Burke, and Pet-Soede (2003).


78 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN









Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean

Threat Assessment Workshop

OCTOBER 22-24, 2002 IN MIAMI, FLORIDA


WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS
Mahfuz Ahmed (World Fish Center) Dulcie Linton (University of the West Indies)
Oscar Alvarez Gil (Friends of Sian Ka'an) Brian Luckhurst (Bermuda Fisheries)
Serge Andrifouet (University of South Florida) Jonathan Maidens (World Resources Institute)
Marilyn Brandt (University of Miami) Melanie McField (WWF Belize)
Lauretta Burke (World Resources Institute) Liana McManus (University of Miami)
Georgina Bustamante (The Nature Conservancy) John McManus (University of Miami)
Billy Causey (Florida Keys National Marine Sanctury) Stephen Menard (World Resources Institute)
Chiew Kieok Chong (World Fish Center) Peter Murray (OECS Natural Resources Management Unit)
\he Jamie Oliver (World Fish Center)
Wade Cooper (University of Miami) Jamie Oliver (World Fish Center)
Richard Curry (Biscayne National Park) Hazel Oxenford (University of the West Indies)
Richard Curry (Biscayne National Park)
SD ( o Bruce Potter (Island Resources Foundation)
Cara Dickman (University of Miami)
Caroline Rogers (US Geological Survey)
Jaime Garzon-Ferreira (Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y
Costeras) Mark Spalding (University of Cambridge)
Bob Ginsburg (University of Miami) Luc St-Pierre (UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme)
Ed Green (UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Center) Kathleen Sullivan Sealey (University of Miami)
Hector Guzmann (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) Elizabeth Taylor (Corporaci6n para el Desarrollo Sostenible del
Archipidlago de San Andrds, Providencia y Santa Catalina)
Milton Haughton (CARICOM Fisheries Unit) .
Alessandra Vanzella-Khouri (UNEP Caribbean Environment
Noel Jacobs (Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Project) Programme)
Johnathan Kool (University of Miami) George Warner (University of the West Indies)
Philip Kramer (University of Miami) Ernesto Weil (University of Puerto Rico)
Michelle Libby (The Nature Conservancy) Aletta Yniguez (University of Miami)


REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN 79







About the Authors



Lauretta Burke is a Senior Associate in WRI's Information Program. She has an M.A. in Environment and Resource Policy
from the George Washington University and an M.A. in Geography from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Lauretta's work focuses on the development of spatial indicators and improved information tools to support environmentally
sustainable development, with an emphasis on coastal ecosystems.


Jonathan Maidens is an Associate in WRI's Information Program. He holds an M.S. in Marine Resource Management from
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK and a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Liverpool, UK. At WRI, his
research has focused on the development of indicators of fishing pressure on coral reefs and the beneficial role of marine pro-
tected areas.


80 REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN


Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean Data CD

The Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean Data CD contains the range of data
assembled and model results developed under the project (with meta-
data). (See Appendix B for list of data sources.) Included on the CD are
over thirty spatial data sets reflecting physical, environmental, and
socioeconomic variables for the Wider Caribbean as well as results from
the modeling of human pressure on coral reefs in the region.

The CD also includes user-friendly map viewing software (ESRI
ArcReader), which requires no specialist knowledge to use.
Users will be able to view the data sets in detail, pan and zoom to areas
of interest, view data layers individually or in combination, query data
sets, and print maps of your choice.

The CD also provides:
* The Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean report in PDF format;
* Detailed country profiles for 35 Caribbean countries and territories (including information on status of, threats to, and protec-
tion of coral reefs and information on fisheries and status of exploitation);
* Full technical notes on the threat modeling method;
* Technical notes on data sources and methods for the economic valuation;
* Complete set of maps in high and low resolution JPEG format.

To obtain a copy of the CD, please complete a request form online at http://reefsatrisk. wri. org/.




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