A PIONEERING study into marine life around the world’s reefs has led experts, including leading Scottish and English scientists, to challenge current efforts to protect many of the oceans’ most vulnerable fish species.

A report, co-authored by scientists at the universities of Dundee and Portsmouth, has cast serious doubts on conventional conservation efforts which are being directed to protect species-rich reefs around the globe, mainly in the tropics.

The experts argue that equal protection should also be given to other “hotspots of marine diversity” with fewer fish species, such as the seas around the United Kingdom.

Dr Trevor Willis, from the Institute of Marine Sciences at Plymouth University, said the new research was challenging “conventional wisdom” about what biodiversity actually meant.

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The Scotsman (26 Sept 2013)