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Coral Trout Thrive In Marine Park

Marine protected areas prove to be successful as coral trout populations thrive in Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park 

A long-term study published in Current Biology has found that coral trout found in the protected 'green zones' of Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are thriving and are also able to cope better with cyclone damage 

In a joint effort, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University evaluated results from underwater surveys carried out between 1983 and 2012 and found that the number of coral trout had doubled since the beginning of the survey period. 

The marine park was rezoned in 2004, and no-take zones were expanded from only 5 per cent of the total park area to approximately one third. 

'The details of our findings suggest that effectively protected networks of no-take reserves will help reef fishes cope with some present and future stresses, and assist in maintaining coral reef fish populations as we know them,' Hugh Sweatman of AIMS and co-author of the paper said. 

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