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Coral Reefs of Anguilla

  • Stuart P. WynneEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Coral Reefs of the World book series (CORW, volume 4)

Abstract

Anguilla lies at the northern end of the Leeward islands and is a mainly limestone platform with only a few extrusive basalts and tufts. The principal island is approximately 24 km × 5 km, and there several small outlying islets surrounding this. There is a fairly extensive reef system, particularly along the northern side, and there are a number of protected marine areas with coral reefs. The economy relies heavily on tourism which is increasing, as well as on financial services. Agriculture and fishing are not of major importance though the latter is driven by the increasing tourism, such that concerns exist regarding fisheries sustainability and the ecological impact of such activities on the coral reefs. Much of the shallow sublittoral is covered by seagrasses, algae and sand as well as reefs. On the southern coast, reefs are categorised as Acropora reefs, though these have degraded severely along with most similarly located shallow reef in the Caribbean, due to white band disease and probably hurricane activity also, such that today they are characterised by Acropora palmata rubble with relatively low diversity. Along the northern coast, similar rubble occurs, with several patches of live Acropora, but this area used to support vast areas of Montastraea spp also, and which likewise is in decline, probably from diseases. This area is degrading also, though not as severely to date. Overall coral cover has dropped from an average of 14 % in 1990 to 4 % in 2009. Changes to the management of Anguilla’s reefs (and other marine habitats) are long overdue in order to arrest or reverse these declines, and plans are in place to increase surveillance and enforcement capabilities of Governmental Departments.

Keywords

Coral Reef Coral Cover Reef System Mass Mortality Event Hard Coral Cover 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Fisheries and Marine ResourcesGovernment of AnguillaThe valleyAnguilla

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