Terry Hughes is director of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, a distinguished professor at James Cook University in Queensland, and a fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences. He leads the largest group of coral reef researchers in the world, with projects in 28 countries.

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A remarkably simple lesson has emerged from recent research into preserving marine resources around the world: concerted human planning and effort are effective in preventing further decline of marine ecosystems. Fundamentally, the deterioration of marine ecosystems signals a crisis of governance, and the widespread degradation of our …

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