Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems and provide food, jobs, and protection from storms for coastal communities. The foods derived from coral reefs play a critical role in supporting nutritional health in many countries. Under optimal conditions, an intact coral reef can provide an abundant supply of food resources to coastal communities. However, overfishing, pollution, environmental change, and economic globalization are currently transforming reefs and the surrounding communities, placing both the health of the reef and the health of people at risk. This research seeks to understand the interactions between coral reefs and human communities. The project seeks to identify effective reef management practices that lead to levels and types of seafood consumption that promote human nutrition. Undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and local inhabitants will be trained in methods of surveying reef health, human health, and fisheries management practices. Through this convergent research, the investigators will develop generalizable principles that can lead to harmonious management of the health of fisheries and seafood-dependent people.
Images courtesy of Jacob Eurich