If you have ever enjoyed a stroll on the beach or snorkeled over the coral reefs, you can thank parrotfish. These colorful fish create much of the sand on the Caribbean’s idyllic shores and keep the brilliant reefs healthy. In an intricate underwater partnership, parrotfish feed on algae that otherwise smother reefs. The fish clear the way for corals to re-grow by chewing off tiny bits of coral skeleton that are excreted as sand. One parrotfish can create up to 200 pounds of sand annually.
Yet populations of these important reef dwellers—critical to the survival of endangered corals—are plummeting to dangerously low levels. People are fishing for them faster than they can reproduce. And parrotfish are not the only fish in trouble. Many other Caribbean species, such as red and Nassau grouper, are disappearing at an alarming rate. Decades of overfishing in the Caribbean threaten to destroy a paradise that draws millions of tourists and powers the economy. The Campaign to End Overfishing in the United States, Caribbean, is dedicated to saving the fish of this precious ecosystem.
- Lee Crockett, Director, U.S. Oceans
- Holly Binns, Director, U.S. Oceans, Southeast
- Leda Dunmire, Manager, U.S. Oceans, Southeast
- Terican Gross, Administrative Assistant, U.S. Oceans, Southeast
- Debbie Salamone, Officer, Communications, 321.972.5020
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