#SciFund Returns: Where have all the coral reef fish gone?

#SciFund, a month long initiative to raise funds for a variety of scientific research projects, is once again upon us. Project leaders post a project description and an appeal for funds, and members of the public are invited to make small donations to projects that they deem worthy. Donations come with rewards such as access to project logs, images from fieldwork, your name in the acknowledgements of publications, among other possibilities. Many of these projects are marine or conservation themed. Once again, we’re highlighting some of our favorite marine science proposals. Please take a look at these projects and, should you so desire, send some financial support their way. If you do make a donation, let them know how you found out about their project and leave a comment (anonymous if you’d like) on this post letting us know.

Where have all the coral reef fish gone?

Coral reefs are one of the most threatened ecosystems world wide. This project collects critical data for the Kenya Wildlife Service to promote effective coral reef conservation and management of marine protected areas.

Reefs protect shorelines and prevent erosion of coastal properties and  provide food and income to over 100 million people worldwide. Overfishing strongly contributes to the loss of reefs. Reef loss in turn, contributes to loss of biodiversity, economic decline, coastal destabilization, and loss of other nearshore habitats such as mangroves and seagrass beds.

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are one of the major ways by which we can protect coral reefs.  MPAs allow fished populations to recover and protect the corals that build reef structure. Kenya is one of the four African nations (and one of the few developing nations worldwide) that has established and maintained MPAs where fishing has been excluded



Dr. Jennifer O’Leary is tracking triggerfish in Kenyan Marine Protected Areas to assess the effect of overfishing on the recovery of coral reefs within the MPA. Head on over to Dr. O’Leary’s project page and send some rocket fuel her way!

One comment

  1. mark kneubuhl · May 22, 2012

    Triggerfish are one of my favorite reeffish. And they never let me forget that! When I swim on the reef, they usually follow, picking at the dead skin on my feet. It’s like an irritating message.
    I completely agree that MPA do wonders. They have in Samoa. Best of luck on your project, Jennifer.

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