Support Us

Advertise Here

   
     
     
                                                                 
                                                                 
  The Issues  
   
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
 
Coral Reefs around the world are peril and this directly affects marine biodiversity and human habitation on a global scale
 
                                                                 
 
There are several reasons why the health of our Reefs is declining:
 
                                                                 
  Bullet Arrow  
Land pollution flowing into our oceans
 
     
                                                                 
  Bullet Arrow  
Ongoing development of our coastlines
 
     
                                                                 
  Bullet Arrow  
Overfishing of many marine species
 
     
                                                                 
  Bullet Arrow  
Changing global climate
 
     
                                                                 
  Bullet Arrow  
Excess carbon dioxide emissions absorbed by our oceans - ocean acidification
 
     
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
 
The Report "Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2004" lists the following top 10 emerging threats in these three categories: (Full Reports are available in our download section at no charge)
 
   
   
                                                                 
  Bullet Arrow  
Global Change Threats
 
     
       
These are:
 
                                                                 
        Arrow-Bullet  
Coral bleaching - caused by elevated sea surface temperatures due to global climate change
 
           
                                                                 
        Arrow-Bullet  
Rising levels of CO2 - increased concentrations of CO2 in seawater decrease calcification rates in coral reef organisms
 
           
           
           
        Arrow-Bullet  
Diseases, Plagues and Invasives - increases in diseases and plagues of coral predators that are increasingly linked to human disturbances in the environment;
 
           
           
           
                                                                 
                                                                 
  Bullet Arrow  
Direct Human Pressures
 
     
                                                                 
       
These are:
 
                                                                 
        Arrow-Bullet  
Over-fishing (and global market pressures) - the harvesting of fishes and invertebrates beyond sustainable yields, including the use of damaging practices (bomb and cyanide fishing);
 
           
           
           
           
        Arrow-Bullet  
Sediments - from poor land use, deforestation, and dredging;
 
           
                                                                 
        Arrow-Bullet  
Nutrients and Chemical pollution - both organic and inorganic chemicals carried with sediments, in untreated sewage, waste from agriculture, animal husbandry and industry; includes complex organics and heavy metals;
 
           
           
           
           
        Arrow-Bullet  
Development of coastal areas - modification of coral reefs for urban, industrial, transport and tourism developments, including reclamation and the mining of coral reef rock and sand beyond sustainable limits.
 
           
           
           
           
                                                                 
                                                                 
  Bullet Arrow  
The Human Dimension (Governance, Awareness and Political Will)
 
     
       
These are:
                                 
                                                                 
        Arrow-Bullet  
Rising poverty, increasing populations, alienation from the land - increasing human populations put increasing pressures on coral reef resources beyond sustainable limits;
 
           
           
           
           
        Arrow-Bullet  
Poor capacity for management and lack of resources - most coral reef countries lack trained personnel for coral reef management, raising awareness, enforcement and monitoring; also a lack of adequate funding and logistic resources to implement effective conservation; and
 
           
           
           
           
           
        Arrow-Bullet  
Lack of Political Will, and Oceans Governance - most problems facing coral reefs are tractable for solutions if there is political will and effective and non-corrupt governance of resources. Interventions by, and inertia in, global and regional organisations can impede national action to conserve coral reefs.
 
           
           
           
           
           
           
                                                                 
 
Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2004
                                 
                                                                 
 
Author: Clive Wilkinson
Global Coordinator (GCRMN)
Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network