Reimagining the Coral Market (The New York Times)

A coral sample is harvested for export from the island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. (Image credit: Ret Talbot/RetTalbot.com via Boston University)

A coral sample is harvested for export from the island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. (Image credit: Ret Talbot/RetTalbot.com via Boston University)

In the international trade in live coral, most of which ships to the United States for ornamental marine aquariums, the source is quickly shifting from wild harvesting to farming, researchers report in a new study.

This shift suggests that, contrary to the conventional view that the live coral trade is a threat to coral reef ecosystems, the buying and selling of corals could help create a powerful incentive for protecting reefs in many small island communities, these scientists say.

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