Location: Bermuda, Atlantic Ocean
Signs of progress: Catch levels of grouper and snapper, two important reef species, declined significantly from the mid-1970s, apparently due to overharvesting. Total group catch per fishing pot (a fish trap commonly used to catch reef species) dropped from 1.8 to 0.65 kilos between 1975 and 1985, with smaller fish increasingly predominating. Meanwhile, fish traps and boat anchoring by fishers and recreational boats were damaging reef structure. Under pressure from hotel owners, dive operators, and other businesses, the government closed the $2 million pot fishing industry in 1990, compensating fishers for the cost of their gear and lost revenue. In doing so, Bermuda recognized the importance of its lucrative reef-based tourism and recreational industries – valued at over $9 million in 1988 – while benefiting reef biodiversity in the process.