View site #952 > ScoreCard for survey #1 > Issue
Introduction | Identification | Impacts | Causes | Actions | More Info
|What can be done to solve this problem?|
Understand the situation. Examine past and current attempts to solve this issue and whether these actions have been effective. You can get a sense of whether Diadema is a problem by simply talking to locals in the community and government officials.
Link the control of Diadema populations with other management actions. Review the management questions in the Reef Check survey to identify who are the managing authorities. The goal is to bring all parts of society and government together to plan how coastal resources will be used or protected. To understand how actions by citizens and the government can be part of a joint effort to manage coral reefs, review the fact sheet on ‘Integrated Coastal Management’. In addition, review the fact sheet on ‘Marine Protected Areas.’ Marine protected areas are a tool that can be used as part of an integrated coastal management strategy.
What can a concerned citizen do to help?
There are several actions that any individual can do to help decrease Diadema impacts on coral reefs. These include:
Increase public understanding of the links between Diadema outbreaks and overfishing and nutrient pollution.
Notify management authorities if you notice an increase in the population levels for Diadema in your area.
Avoid capturing herbivorous fish or predators of Diadema such as triggerfish, porcupine fish, large wrasses, and puffers.
What can managers and decision-makers do to help?
In addition to the above management recommendations for a concerned citizen, resource managers and decision-makers may have additional means available to them to decrease the impacts Diadema have on coral reefs. These include:
Determine the distribution of Diadema on reefs and assess any damage that may have been caused by them.
Educate the public on the possible links between Diadema outbreaks and overfishing and nutrient pollution.
Address the problems of overfishing and nutrient pollution. Potential strategies could include catch restrictions for prey of Diadema and herbivorous fish. Nutrient reductions need to be addressed on land through decreasing the use of fertilizers, maintaining healthy mangroves, and river buffers. Also avoid siting outfall pipes near reefs and other valuable habitats.
Establish a Diadema fishery in areas where their populations are high. However, the fishery must be monitored in order to ensure that populations are not depleted to levels that would allow algal growth to take over.
? Reduce the population of Diadema in marine protected areas where fishing pressure on herbivorous fish have been reduced. This can be done by physically removing urchins from areas where their numbers have become too big. This has been shown to be an effective reef restoration technique (McClanahan et al 2000).