Bali’s reefs: Good and bad news

Recovering reefs, problematic pollution

It’s rare these days to hear good news regarding the health of coral reefs and fish populations, but a two-week marine survey conducted recently by Conservation International (CI) revealed eight potentially new species of fish and a new species of coral in waters surrounding the Indonesian island of Bali.

The survey was conducted as part of CI’s 20-year-long Rapid Assessment Program to assess reef health and recommend how to best establish a network of Marine Protected Areas in Bali. Among the potentially new fish species were two varieties of cardinalfish, a garden eel and a gopy. A potentially new bubble coral was also discovered.

However, the survey team did notice a severe depletion in commercial fish, rampant plastic pollution, and signs that fishermen have been encroaching on “no-take” areas. The team recommended spatial planning to mitigate the clash of tourism and unsustainable fishing practices, and recommended pollution and agricultural-runoff prevention practices.