Today, Healthy Reefs for Healthy People (HRI) released its 2020 Reef Report Card. The report card reflects the collected marine data of reed health from the Mesoamerica region which consists of Mexico, Belize Guatemala, and Honduras. The report also includes suggestions for the government as it relates to conserving and preserving the reefs. According to Nicole Craig, Country Coordinator (HRI), the common problem most countries are facing today is Stoney Coral Tissue loss Disease.
Nicole Craig, Country Coordinator, Healthy Reefs for Healthy People: “We examine fish, herbivorous and commercial. We examine coral cover, we examine macro algae on the reef and we also talk about a few other issues. The report card this time we talk about coral disease, we talked about a project the Herbivore project that we are doing at Health Reefs which is putting some herbivorous crabs on the reef to help eat some of that algae that is tending to grow a bit faster. We talk about the sustainable development goals and a few other topics. It’s important because it’s a very easy way to understand the reef and break it down so that the everyday person can understand what’s important, what’s good, what’s bad and what needs to change about the reef. This report card is available on our website Healthyreefs.org and you can download all of them, it’s actually the sixth release so there are six documents that you can download and it’s important to review all of them because it shows us over time how the reef has been changing so the first one was released in 2006 and then now we have one in 2020 so it’s a good way to have an overview over time some of the changes that we’ve made to our policies and legislation, we can also see the results of that in later years in the more recent report cards. I want to start by highlighting one of the good things from this report card which showed that increase in herbivorous fish came about because the first report card made a recommendation that we should protect these herbivores because they’re important to our reef and in 2009 that happened. So now we’re here in 2020 ten years later and we saw that these populations have actually increased which means that if we have good laws and enforce good laws we will see the changes that we want to see. So this document has a lot of recommendations on the back page that can speak to the things we want to see the public do, we want to see the government do, so it has important takeaway messages for everybody.”
Craig noted that the report has vital information for the public which details actions they can take to protect our reefs and marine life.