Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Nena Declares 1997 as the Pacific Year of the Coral Reef

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): February 21, 1997 - Acting President Jacob Nena proclaimed on February 11, 1997, "The 1997 Pacific Year of the Coral Reef," urging each individual in the FSM to promote awareness, concern and to take actions towards protecting "our coral reefs," and be mindful of the theme: Coral Reefs-Their Health, Our Future.

Coral reefs are amongst the most diverse, complex and productive ecosystems in the world, and healthy coral reefs are habitat to thousands of marine organisms which provide food, medicine and protect shores from erosion.

However, there is deep concern that adverse impacts from over-fishing, unregulated collection of sea-shells which can lead to their extinction, illegal fishing by dynamiting and bleaching, reef damages and killings resulting from large-scale coral dredging, and to a lesser extent, boat anchors and boats running grounds.

Other reef damages and deterioration are caused by agricultural runoffs, deforestation, sedimentation, sewer discharges into the ocean, oil spills, toxic chemicals, radioactive wastes and litter contribute their shares of degradation and death of coral reefs.

The solution to these problems is a concerted public education drive emphasizing reef conservation and resource management articulated in specifically-defined public regulations.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356