Having existed for more than 500 million years, known as the rain forest of the sea coral reefs are not only breathtakingly beautiful, but they are also very important in maintaining the ocean’s biological diversity . However, due to human activity, coral reefs are now under threat.
Coral reefs are at risk everyday from global warming, pollution, sedimentation, land run off, destructive Fishing practices and costal development. The most effective in the Caribbean being Global warming, pollution and overfishing and costal and tourist development
Global warming caused by the green house effect has raised the temperature of the oceans so high that the coral get sick and eventually die. Even a rise of one degree in the average water temperature can hurt the coral. If these trends continue, and with 30 per cent of the world's coral reefs already dead, it is estimated we may lose them completely within the next 30-50 years.
Overuse for recreational purposes in the tourism idustry can cause physical damage to the coral reefs through continued contact from careless swimmers, divers, and poorly placed boat anchors.
Pollution due to hotels’ and resorts’ dischargeing levels of sewage and wastewater into the ocean, polluting the water and encouraging the growth of algae, which competes with corals for space on the reef and with increasing demand for fish has resulted in over-fishing of not only open ocean commercial fish species such as tuna and swordfish, but key reef species as well. Over-fishing of coral reef species can negatively affect a reef’s ecological balance. For example, herbivorous fishes keep algae growth in check by constantly grazing it from coral reefs. Over-fishing of herbivores can lead to high levels of algae, which can smother and kill corals.
The disappearance of coral reefs would destroy the habitat of countless species of fishes. It would erase marine life that holds the potential for new chemicals, new médicine and...