The Death Of Coral Reefs destroying the reefs causes deaths of both sea and coral life


Pollutants: a substance that pollutes mainly water or atmosphere

NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association which is an agency that focuses on conditions of ocean and atmosphere

Deteriorating: To become worse

Anthropogenic: Pollution from human activity

Cobbled: To patch something together again

What is the major cause of Coral Disease?

Coral diseases is the most common factor among the deaths of the coral reefs, the diseases are mainly caused by pollutants. Information found in Environmental Protection Agency describes how, “Deteriorating water quality, anthropogenic pollutants, and increasing sea temperature from global climate change might reduce coral immunity and promote increased disease-causing microorganisms.” The protection Agency has found that human pollution activity is a contributor to global climate which causes disease microorganisms to occur in the coral reefs. Another organization that agrees with pollution being an issue shows a study done in 2001 that shows, “The frequency of coral diseases has increased significantly over the last 10 years, causing widespread mortality among reef-building corals. Many scientists believe the increase is related to deteriorating water quality associated with human-made pollutants and increased sea surface temperatures.” Sixteen years ago that study showed how since 1991 coral diseases had been increasing because of human pollution.

What has been causing the damages and Deaths of the Coral Reefs?

Factors to the damages being done to the coral reefs include coral bleaching, anchors being dropped on to the reef, climate change, and even bomb fishing. A statistic shown by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority mention, “Many types of coral have a special symbiotic relationship with a tiny marine algae (zooxanthellae) that live inside corals' tissue and are very efficient food producers that provide up to 90 percent of the energy corals require to grow and reproduce.” When the earth's temperature rises that causes the water to temperature to rise as well, therefore causing the coral reef to discharge algae(zooxanthellae) which is the substance that gives coral reefs its color. If the water temperature does not decrease in time the algae will not return to the coral causing it to die more known as Coral Bleaching. Mrs. Oakley a writer from USA Today wrote that “Another factor affecting coral reefs is blast fishing. This practice involves catching fish by using explosives to blow apart sections of a coral reef.” Which makes this another factor to the deaths of corals, the method called bomb fishing which is using explosives to kill the fish which makes it easier to collect. One thing unknown by many would be that in many of these occasions not only does it kill the fish, it also destroys the coral reefs which is the home to marine life.

How are the Coral Reefs beneficial to Human Life?

Coral Reefs are beneficial to people by providing them food and tourism purposes but new studies have found that coral reefs can go beyond what they seem to be useful for. Coral Reef Alliance article mentioned, “Many of the compounds now being used in human medicines, including some that treat cancer, are found on coral reefs, with probably many more yet to be discovered.” Corals are now being used to help some of the most difficult diseases to treat, but if we are harming the coral there will be less chances of discovering more methods to these treatments. Nicole Levins which a writer for Coral Reefs medicine Cabinets stated, “Twenty-five more marine-derived medicines are being evaluated in human trials right now.” Not damaging the reefs and maintaining it in a healthy condition humans will be able to use them for the medical purposes which are starting to be the treatment for multiple diseases that have not yet been able to be treated.

Does tourism affect the coral?

Tourism does affect the coral, in some cases coral has had a no tourism policy to protect coral and marine life. On the news Louzel Lombard mentioned that , "We have discovered that about 80% of the coral reefs in the area have suffered damage". Thailand has banned coral tourism on some islands because the negative effects that tourist have on it. Camila Cossio an AIDA Intern studied coral reefs and found that, “When tourists accidentally touch, pollute, or break parts of the reef, corals experience stress.” Tourist should try and avoid touching the coral because it is difficult to redo a broken piece of coral and it stresses the coral which sometimes can lead to fatal occasions.

How are we able to help coral reefs?

Ever since 1970 scientist have been doing infusions of healthy coral. Kate Baggaley mentioned that “They collect tiny fragments broken off healthy corals or scavenged from reefs shattered by shipwrecks and hurricanes.” Scientist have been able to use those pieces of coral and began underwater nursery they then get cobbled up together again. Mrs. Baggaley also stated that “Within three to six months, the corals will actually grow over the nail and begin to put healthy tissue onto the reef”. Before that when the coral is ready to be in the sea people hammer nails in the sea and they tie the corals with cables until the coral is fully prepared to be let go.


Created with images by Derek Keats - "Coralline algae and fleshy crusts among corals. The green is probably corallines killed by disease." • ljhar6 - "Coral and fish" • xin_yu_qiu - "marine diving sea" • Victoria Reay - "Growing coral" • USFWS Headquarters - "Coral Reef at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge"

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