Cauliflower corals face the many threats that are impacting coral reefs globally. It is estimated that 20 percent of the world's coral reefs have already been effectively destroyed and show no immediate prospects of recovery, and 24 percent of the world's reefs are under imminent risk of collapse due to human pressures. These human impacts include poor land management practices that are releasing more sediment, nutrients and pollutants into the oceans and stressing the fragile reef ecosystem. Over fishing has 'knock-on' effects that results in the increase of macro-algae that can out-compete and smother corals, and fishing using destructive methods physically devastates the reef. A further potential threat is the increase of coral bleaching events, as a result of global climate change (4). Another potential threat is over-harvesting. Pocillopora is one of four genera that constitute the majority of the dead coral trade. Indonesia and Fiji have export quotas for this coral, but in 1997, the amount of Pocillopora traded greatly exceeded the quota, showing a failure to regulate the trade (5). However, Pocillopora is thought to be fairly resilient to collection due to their success at asexual reproduction through fragmentation (5).
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