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Logging Threatens Reef Fish Stocks in Solomon Islands

Logging Threatens Reef Fish Stocks in Solomon Islands

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Logging operations are threatening reef fish stocks in the Solomon Islands, according to a report.

The report by Australia Network News said if the massive logging operations continue at current rates, reef fish stocks may be depleted “within a decade.”

In danger of being wiped out is the “topa” or bumphead parrot fish, a species found in reef areas close to forested islands in Isabel province.

Researchers have noted the absence of juvenile fish in areas where there has been logging operations for the past 10 years.

The researchers say the primary reason for the destruction of fringing reefs, where fish nurseries are often found, is excessive silt from logging operations. The excessive silt often “settles” on nearby corals and quickly kills off the corals.

A worker cuts a log in the Solomon Islands (Sean Dorney, ABC News)

A worker cuts a log in the Solomon Islands (Sean Dorney, ABC News)

The research findings have alarmed local fishers, according to Richard Hamilton, a marine scientist.

Hamilton, quoted by the report, said “a lot of the fishers that we’ve been working with in Isabel province are actually now taking the lead in being proactive against logging on their customary lands.”

The report was based on the research findings of a nursery project for bumphead parrot fish in Isabel province being supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and nongovernment organizations such as The Nature Conservancy.

Fishers and other stakeholders are now said to be using the data from the ADB research to address the problem, particularly in trying to save areas where logging operations have yet to occur.

While it does not advocate a ban on logging, best practices should be followed when it comes to logging in areas where reefs are nearby, according to the research.

Story courtesy of Australia Network News

Avatar of Coral Triangle Written by Coral Triangle

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