Are Coral Reefs in Danger? Essay

814 Words Apr 11th, 2004 4 Pages
Abstract

Located in tropical ocean waters, coral reefs provide priceless resources to both human and marine life. The leading natural cause of destruction among the coral reefs is global warming. Other natural causes are earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. The destruction to the coral reefs from these natural disasters is minimal compared to the dangers caused by man. Man-made destruction has a much wider impact on the health of the coral reefs. This destruction includes over-fishing, damage from anchors, aquarium industry, overgrowth of seaweed, and being smothered by sediments. Are Coral Reefs in Danger?

Located in tropical ocean waters, coral reefs provide priceless resources to both human and marine
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Corals need sunlight, and with the murky waters they are not able to survive. This is considered natural because it is the nutrients in the land causing the murkiness; however it is also considered a man-made cause because the humans are the ones clearing the land causing the excess nutrients to be put into the ocean water. (Encarta) A solution to this environmental problem is to ease up on the clearing of rainforests for land.

Due to coral reefs being home to so many types of fish, it is easy for human's to be attracted to this area for many different types of industry. The first problem is over-fishing. As the population continues to grow, and the demand for food (fish) grows, then the fishing industry will continue to fish the coral reefs looking to make a buck. These boats drop anchor to fish which in turn causes destruction of the reefs through physical contact with the anchor. The Asian fish market demands that restaurants have unique live fish on hand leading to coral reefs being the prime spot for fishing. (Denecke, 2001) Yet another problem related to the fish in this area is the growing demand for aquarium fish. People think that it's really cool to get that unique looking fish for their tank and are willing to pay money to have somebody go get them one. The methods these fish retrievers use causes extreme damage. They use a chemical like sodium cyanide to stun the fish so that the fisherman can gather them for the market place.

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