The decline of coral reefs

Without coral reefs, the sea creatures that inhabit the reefs will be homeless and will have to find new ways to survive and find food.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Without coral reefs, the sea creatures that inhabit the reefs will be homeless and will have to find new ways to survive and find food.

The world’s coral reefs are in severe danger due to numerous issues, relating to human intrusion and environmental concerns. Despite the hundreds of programs implemented to save the reefs from danger, the damage is pursuing daily.

Coral reefs are the home to countless animals and organisms, such as starfish, sea anemones, seahorses, reef sharks, and numerous species of fish and other sea animals. These animals strongly rely on the survival of coral reefs, therefore protecting the reefs is extremely important.

According to the National Ocean Service, “Many of the world’s reefs have already been destroyed or severely damaged by water pollution, overfishing and destructive fishing practices, disease, global climate change, and ship groundings.”

Protecting the reefs has been attempted and is currently being pursued by numerous organizations working to achieve a similar goal. Organizations such as the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (CRTF), the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF), Counterpart International, and many more are working incessantly to ensure that coral reefs can prosper.

Coral reefs are often referred to as, “the rainforests of the ocean.” According to marine biology teacher, James Krall, he states that this is, “because of the complexity and variety of life they support.” He went on to state, “They also serve as nurseries ad habitats for all sorts of marine life; both vertebrates and invertebrates alike.”

Locally, coral reefs are not common. However, the harmful affects on the reefs can be because of things that everyone does.

“Coral reefs are mostly found in tropical, shallow water, and are sensitive to environmental pressures such as thermal pollution, several types of chemical pollution, bad fishing, tourism and harvesting practices. The majority of coral reefs in the world are currently being threatened by these pressures. As coral reefs die, the diversity of life and productivity of the ocean as a whole decreases severely,” Krall stated.

Protecting these reefs is imperative. According to Anne Cohen, who told National Geographic, “Without a mix of long-term cuts in emissions and short-term innovation, there is a not-so-far-off future where coral reefs as we know them simply cease to exist.”

Protecting the coral reefs and their inhabitants is necessary to their survival, by doing nothing more than leaving them alone and letting nature remain tranquil. Interferences with the ecosystem leads to a trail of destruction to follow. Standing up for the voiceless creatures is morally just; they do not take homes from people, so why should theirs be taken away?