I am not sure how many people are aware of how important coral reefs are to not only the places directly surrounding it but throughout the world. The extent to which they have been decimated the past few decades by man is a very real threat that we are only finally beginning to acknowledge and counteract. Since I am an avid scuba diver, I have seen over the years what mankind has done to the populations and breeds of fish that I encounter.
The ecosystem must be saved at all costs and luckily, there are studies conducted all over the world that are devising schemes to deal with this crisis. At the end of the day, we must remind ourselves that coral reefs are not just a thing of beauty, but of purpose for the life that lives within it. There are campaigns all over the world that have aided in raising awareness about how trashing the seas can directly and indirectly impact ports, nearby cities, and the larger cities that are in the vicinity.
The Great Barrier Reef was studied specifically to see how it could negatively affect larger coral reef systems around the world. A large majority of the animals that live in coral reefs are colonial, like anemones and jellyfish. Hard corals can survive only in sunlit tropical waters and are very sensitive to changes in sedimentation, metal pollution, and warmer temperatures. These are the very problems that coral reefs are currently facing throughout the world. But what are some of the reasons why we still need coral reefs?
First of all, coral reefs host an astonishing amount of biodiversity and is considered by scientists the most diverse ecosystem on the planet, which is one of the reasons for its spectacular survival. These diverse ecosystems are home to several types of fish species, which is important as it would be costly and difficult to breed these artificially. These coral reefs also provide housing and food for the fish that live within them. There are estimates that more than a billion people rely on coral reefs for their food source, making it a significant provider of sustenance to humans.
Coral reefs also create and protect land by dissipating the wave energy from tsunamis and storms, thereby reducing the damage of adjacent land. They are also known for holding a fair amount of common natural medicines that fight against a host of illnesses and bacteria. Because they are so diverse biologically, natural remedies are commonly used in many areas of the world, and coral reefs supply most of the ingredients.
Of course, coral reefs are known for their spectacular beauty the world over as there are few places on earth that offer such pristine turquoise water with the backdrop of a wonderland. It is far more intricate than any words could ever describe and part of the reason why they continue to hold a sense of enchantment from people anywhere in the world. Our mission is to now keep this seeming fantasy a reality for generations to come.