Our Ocean, Our World

July 13, 2017

This was the theme for the United Nations Ocean Conference in NYC this June. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #14 outlines significant changes that are required to protect the ocean. Yet in an article written for the United Nations Chronicle, Can We Save Coral Reefs?, Dr. Manfrino calls for even more aggressive action in protecting coral reefs, including innovation in restoration, creative partnerships to bridge gaps in awareness, and most of all societal-level change to remove human impact on coastal ecosystems. In the issue are also articles by Leonardo DiCaprio and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity, actor Edward Norton.

We hope you will also take time to read the UN’s Call For Action, in which world leaders agree to “act decisively and urgently, convinced that our collective action will make a meaningful difference to our people, to our planet and to our prosperity.”

Also relevant to our work is the recently released IUCN Red List Report entitled The Conservation Status of Marine Bony Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean. In this article, the authors demonstrate that the three greatest threats these fish face at present are

  1. Overexploitation,
  2. Destruction of reef habitat, and
  3. Predation by invasive lionfish.


Conservation and research efforts at CCMI are addressing these issues thanks to the 3 year Darwin Initiative award to establish an herbivory biodiversity action plan and the BEST European Commission award to improve management of the invasive lionfish. We are working together through a variety of collaborations and partnerships to combat the destruction of coral reefs, which, though they make up less than 1% of the ocean floor, contain 25% of all marine species.