A researcher from James Cook University has been using satellites to study the architecture of coral reefs from space, as a novel tool for predicting the nature and abundance of fish populations.
“My current research is looking into how degraded coral reefs can recover. This is of real importance to tourism, fishing and tropical coastal communities like those of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which is worth $6 billion a year, or the nations of the Coral Triangle, Pacific and Indian Ocean,” he said.
“I have also worked on how long it takes fish stocks to recover if you impose a no-take zone on a reef. The answer is around 20 years for full recovery of fish biomass, but the good news is that depleted fish populations can recover with the right management.”
The work has helped several countries to better plan their management of coral reefs and fish stocks.