I’m part of a team of 18 scientists from different organisations around the world who have recently developed a framework for conserving deep reefs in the Western Indian Ocean, home to some of the world’s least known deep reefs. Our framework includes practical recommendations, which we hope will enhance deep-reef stewardship throughout the region and could eventually be adopted globally.
Below are the our top five recommendations:
Protect: Highly protect 30 percent of ecosystems by 2030 (“30 by 30”), and include deep reefs in this target.
Conserve: Conserve deep reef ecosystems and their resources by specifically including them in fishery regulations, marine protected areas and marine spatial planning.
Manage: Extend current management efforts on shallow reefs to include deep reefs as these ecosystems are often connected.
Invest: Invest in foundational, fundamental and applied research on deep reef biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and provided services.
Collaborate: Develop national and international collaborations to survey and conserve deep reefs in national and international (High Seas) waters.
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