The Spratly Islands: a marine park?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

54 Scopus citations


The Spratly Islands encompass a dense system of several hundred coral reefs in the most biodiverse of the world's seas. They serve as breeding grounds for a wide variety of organisms. A study of pelagic larval survival times and current patterns indicates that they may supply recruiting organisms for marine ecosystems throughout the South China Sea. Strategic concerns and vague possibilities of hydrocarbon deposits have led to military build-up in the area, resulting in violent confrontations and environmental stress. Future oil drilling could have widespread impacts. A more sustainable-use strategy would be to freeze current claims on the islands and establish an international marine park. Such a park could generate on the order of USD 1B annually from tourism. Carefully managed, the park would safeguard substantially-sized populations of tens of thousands of species, and help to ensure a steady supply of recruits to regional fisheries. -from Author

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmbio
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering


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