3 Dec 2012

Many Pacific corals may soon get US federal protection

2:42 pm on 3 December 2012

Nearly 70 species of coral around the world, including several that are commonly found in Hawaii, may soon be protected by the United States Government.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is proposing to list 66 types of coral under the Endangered Species Act.

59 of those species are found in the Pacific.

The organisation says that rising ocean temperatures are among the threats to coral populations that have become more dangerous in recent years.

Dr Sam Popley of the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Centre says the NOAA plans to preserve the kind of healthy and vibrant corals that people in Hawaii have grown up to know and appreciate.

The announcement comes a week after a possible disease was found on reefs in Hawaii's Hanalei area of Kauai's North Shore.