“Bold” Parrotfish Help Keep Coral Reefs Colorful | One-Minute Dive With Pew

“Bold” Parrotfish Help Keep Coral Reefs Colorful | One-Minute Dive With Pew


When you swim on a reef, it all looks so tranquil
and you see these beautiful, delicate corals. But in fact, there’s warfare, rampant warfare
going on right before your eyes. The battle that occurs between corals and
seaweeds is often going to determine the kind of reef we’re going to have in future. Parrotfish are one of the most important seaweed
consumers on coral reefs. They’re really brilliant, they’re very bold, beautifully colored. And
they spend 90% of the day eating. Protecting parrotfish has a beneficial effect
on the survival of corals, especially when the corals are young. A fully protected marine reserve is an area
that’s designated for no fishing or extractive uses. What we’ve learned is that the corals in those
parks are doing better than the corals outside the parks. A healthy coral reef is incredibly complicated
structure. I often liken a reef to a Manhattan skyline because it has all of these hiding
places. It can actually support vast numbers of fish. And this is what underpins a healthy
fishery. And if we don’t take care of the processes
that build these reefs, then these reefs are going to get flatter and flatter and flatter
over time and you’ll end up with a very brown, monotonous place to go and look. It’s really in everyone’s best interest to
try and help corals recover and keep building this complex structural ecosystem.

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