Reefs in peril

The most detailed analysis of coral reefs in Southeast Asia indicates that threats to the world's most important and extensive reef system are much higher than what was estimated in 1998. A team of international scientists has estimated that 88 per cent of Southeast Asia's reefs are severely threatened by human activities. The main threats are overfishing, sedimentation and pollution from land-based sources. The scientists estimate that the sustainable value of the reef fisheries is us $2.4 billion annually ( , February 25, 2002).