Most of coral around Samoa's Upolu has diedStaff Writer | May 16, 2018
The vast majority of coral around Samoa's main island, Upolu, has died off, according to new research.
Nature At 80 percent of sites, live corals were below 10 percent
In half the sites surveyed, live corals populated less than one percent of a given reef.
At 80 percent of sites, live corals were below 10 percent.
The scientists estimate these reefs may have previously had 60 to 80 percent live coral.
While they say the coral has been buffeted by cyclones and a large tsunami in recent years, much of the damage has been exacerbated by global warming and local pressures.
These local pressures are pollution, land reclamation, nutrient runoff and overfishing, which the authors say should be reined in.
However, coral cover was significant higher in Samoa's marine protected areas, which they say highlights the importance of these reserves to Samoa. ■