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WWF begins Ishigaki coral reef research

Date Posted: 1999-08-27

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) started Sunday a research program to determine the condition of coral reefs surrounding Ishigaki Island.

The WWF has been inspecting the condition of coral reef in Okinawa every five years, and this latest research will mark the third time research on coral reef formations near Ishigaki Island has been done.

Initial findings were far from positive, with divers citing red-soil pollution as a major cause of destruction to the formations. The divers said the coral, already in a poor condition, was far worse than anticipated and its deterioration more advanced than on previous dives.

Researchers said a change in the ocean environment was needed to make any impact on improving the condition of the coral, adding that if action is not taken to prevent red-soil pollution, the coral will almost certainly deteriorate further.

The research will continue until September 9.

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