Caribbean Coral Reefs In Trouble

Fan coral off the coast of Belize. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.

If you had to guess what makes up reefs, what would you say?  Coral, right?  Well today it seems that that may not be the case.

  • Of all the Caribbean reefs today, only 8 percent of them still have coral!
  • This isn’t only bad news for the coral; the decline in coral will have a negative effect on fisheries, tourism, and marine life in general.
  • There are many causes for the drop in coral numbers, most of which we can prevent!  These include overfishing, pollution, disease, and bleaching (algae abandoning coral when waters become too warm due to the burning of fossil fuels).
  • Only 40 years ago half of the reefs in the Caribbean still had coral!
  • The only way we will be able to save these coral reefs, and the fisheries who depend upon them, will be to drastically reduce all human impacts affecting them.
  • A larger, more detailed report on the region’s coral reefs will be released in March of next year.

Want to learn more?  Read the full story: Coral reefs in Caribbean on life support

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