The Coral Triangle: A Fleeting Universe of Wonderment( More about event)
PHOTOGRAPHY AND TEXT BY MIKE MCCAFFREY MPA'12
The fabled Coral Triangle is full of dazzling colors and exotic species, making it a truly spectacular place to explore. It is a network of extremely biodiverse reefs between the Philippines, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and Solomon Islands, and is often referred to as the “Amazon of the Oceans.” Roughly three-quarters of the world’s coral species and 40% of the world’s reef fish live within its boundaries. Most of our underwater world still remains a mystery to us, however, highlighted by the recently completed Marine Census that identified over 10,000 new species.
Sadly, the magic of these seas is fading before most have had a chance to peer beneath the waters. These reefs provide billions of dollars in revenue for the fishermen in the area. However, overfishing, costal development, and marine pollution from the 120 million inhabitants of the Coral Triangle are the greatest threat to its survival. Rising sea levels are salinating fresh water breeding grounds for many species, and warmer, more acidic waters are causing entire reefs to die. Some estimates predict that even if the fisheries survive the fishermen, a rise in average climatic temperature of over two degrees will cause these ecosystems to collapse.
There are many efforts to save this natural resource, but results are still unclear. Many governments and non-profit organizations promote Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as a potential solution, where communities agree to limit fishing in designated areas for agreed upon periods of time to allow species to rebound. Currently there are thousands of these around the Coral Triangle; however, an audit done by the World Resources Institute reported that only 15% of them were rated as “effective.”
This exhibit is designed to provide seldom seen perspectives from under the waters of the Coral Triangle, to raise awareness of this wonderful place.
Mike McCaffrey is an MPA candidate at the Woodrow Wilson School. He started his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Bolivian Andes, and most recently worked in the South Pacific developing financial services for low income people in eight countries around the region. Upon graduation he will move to East Africa to develop systems to help people save money securely on their mobile phones. For more information about this exhibit, please contact MikeMcCaffreySF@gmail.com.
Location: Annex Galleries, Robertson Hall
Date/Time: 06/01/12 at 4:30 pm - 09/01/12 at 6:00 pm
Category: Annex Events
External Affairs Department