Coral Disease Working Group


Coral reefs and associated habitats provide important commercial, recreational, and subsistence fishery resources in the U.S. and around the world, and represent a critical source of food for many developing countries. Fishing plays a central social and cultural role in many island communities. The rich biodiversity of reefs also supports a valuable marine aquarium industry and promises rich genetic resources for pharmaceuticals or other natural products. However, these fishery resources and the ecosystems that support them are under increasing threat from overfishing and other impacts on habitats and ecosystems.

The Coral Reef Fisheries and Ecosystem Working Group was established in October 2020 to strengthen coral reef fisheries management efforts in the National Action Strategy. While coral reef fisheries management has always been a key priority for the USCRTF, it has been challenging to make progress given the traditional and community dependence on the resource. To promote collaboration and discussion among jurisdictional partners and federal agencies, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service and a jurisdictional representative co-chair the working group. The working group takes a jurisdictionally-led, federally-supported approach to achieving sustainable coral reef fisheries.