In July 2014, a report published by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) highlighted the importance of parrotfish in maintaining healthy reef systems and fisheries.
Some of the healthiest Caribbean coral reefs are those that have vigorous populations of grazing parrotfish, including the US Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (Gulf of Mexico) and Bermuda and Bonaire (Netherlands).
Photo (right): Parrotfish (O. Day)
These areas have restricted or banned fishing practices that harm parrotfish. Other countries are beginning discussions and following suit. In recent news in Jamaica the topic of banning parrotfish was aired through national media houses:
- "Parrotfish Ban?" (aired on July 9, 2014 on Jamaica Observer Youtube Channel)
- "Stop Eating Parrotfish to Save the Reef" (aired on October 3, 2014 on TVJ News)
- "State of Coral Reefs" (aired on October 6, 2014 on TVJ News)
Photo (left): Fishers cleans a catch of parrotfish (S. Lee)
Should parrotfish be banned in Jamaica, where a number of fishers rely on the species as a source of food and income? Let us know what you think!