Dom Post: Coral faces killer ‘worse than climate change’

Kiran Chug writes in the Dominion Post about Victoria University research showing that sea snails are having a worse effect on Pacific coral reefs than climate change.

The snails in question, Dendropoma maximum, significantly reduce the growth and survival of any reefs where they are found, although scientists are unsure why.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Where the snail was found, coral reefs were half as likely to survive than those where it did not exist – in comparison, Dr Shima said climate change was believed to increase a reef’s mortality rate by 5 per cent.

“For those reefs that did survive, their growth was reduced by up to 81 per cent. “Reefs are one of the reasons why these places attract tourists for diving and snorkelling. People don’t like to see dead coral.” Coral also provided habitats for fish and shelter for baby fish, and fewer reefs would mean fewer fish.”