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First launched in honor of the International Year of the Reef in 2008, Reef Check is requesting you to sign our Declaration of Reef Rights shown below. The purpose of this pledge is to highlight the high value of coral reefs and to encourage all people and governments to support coral reef conservation. Signing the Declaration is a powerful way to show your support for reef protection. After reading the pledge please fill out the form below and encourage your friends to sign up. You must include your full name, country and an email – but if you want to be kept informed about coral reefs and Reef Check's efforts, please fill out the complete form. Thank you for supporting coral reefs!

Dr. Gregor Hodgson, Executive Director
Reef Check Foundation
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Reef Check International Declaration of Reef Rights
  1. Over-fishing is defined as harvesting more fish or shellfish than are replaced each year through natural reproduction or artificial stock enhancement. Living coral, fish, algae and other organisms are a sustainable resource when fished or collected at a rate that does not damage the ecosystem. For information about how the marine aquarium trade can be used to promote coral reef conservation click here
  2. Destructive fishing is defined as fishing that causes collateral damage such as blast fishing using explosives, chemical fishing using toxic substances such as cyanide, discarding high volumes of by-catch, or trawling in areas where seabed communities can be damaged.
  3. Pollution includes all types but especially industrial, untreated or inadequately treated sewage, residential or urban runoff including a mixture of toxics, sedimentation and high nutrient inputs.  Trash and other solid wastes are also regarded as pollution.
  4. Humans are creating high outputs of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, leading to global warming and sea water acidification. Reef corals are injured or killed when water temperatures increase above tolerance thresholds and when pH levels are reduced so far that corals cannot create their skeletons.
  5. Divers and boaters can damage reefs by touching, kicking, removing corals, anchoring on reefs and running into them.
  6. Poorly planned development on land or in the sea can directly and indirectly damage coral reefs. Direct damage may occur through construction impacts e.g. dredging, removal of coral heads, or construction on the reef or on shore. Runoff and sedimentation caused by construction on land are a major impact on reefs.
  7. Two spreading coral diseases have been linked to human activities including sewage discharge.
  8. This Declaration was designed primarily to address the general public and reef users such as fishermen, boaters, divers and snorkelers. Many scientists and aquaculturists who are working to understand coral reefs sometimes need to disturb or collect coral reef specimens for their work. We encourage scientists to sign the Declaration with the understanding that they are pledging to follow local regulations regarding experiments and collecting and that they will seek to minimize any damage they cause.