Coral reefs are widespread along the east African coast and Seychelle islands. Their roles in island building and coastal protection are often underestimated, they are also important fishery habitats and major tourist attractions. The east African marine fishery production, estimated at 1.4-4.9 tonnes per km super(2), is principally a result of artisanal fishing. Siltation, trampling, and destructive fishing methods are the main cause of coral reef degradation along the east African coast and associated islands. Legislation has been implemented to protect coral reefs by establishing marine parks and reserves. However, poaching and anchor damage are widespread on these protected reefs. Legislative provision to increase the benefit to fishing communities may reduce poaching. The establishment of exclusive nature reserves may be one way to ensure preservation of some coral reefs in the region.