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November 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 37, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Who Can Save Dying Reefs? Fish!

from the November, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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In 2009, marine scientist Enric Sala led a National Geographic Society team to Kiribati, about 1800 miles south of Hawaii, to see if the vibrant and virtually untouched reefs there held any clues to bringing damaged reefs back to health.

"The bottom was covered by thriving coral. It was, like, crystal-clear, blue, turquoise water, schools of silver jacks. And then the corals, pastels, oranges, and beiges - it was like an impressionist painting," Sala said.

His team presented their findings to Kiribati officials, and the government took steps to protect the waters from fishing and other human activity. However, between 2015 and 2016, record levels of ocean warming decimated half the coral reefs the team had been studying....

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