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Can the Coral Triangle be Saved from Overfishing, Pollution and Climate Change?

Can the Coral Triangle be Saved from Overfishing, Pollution and Climate Change?

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Another perspective on the many issues threatening the existence of the Coral Triangle, as reported in this piece from Asian Correspondent.

Bleached stag coral, Malaysia. Coral bleaching could be the greatest threat facing the world’s reefs. (Photo from: Gavin Bain - Flickr CC)

Bleached stag coral, Malaysia. Coral bleaching could be the greatest threat facing the world’s reefs. (Photo from: Gavin Bain – Flickr CC)

Known as the Amazon of the ocean, the Coral Triangle is a 2.2 million square mile tropical marine area encompassing the waters of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and the Solomon Islands. It is considered to be the richest reef system in the world.

Among the masses of marine flora and fauna in the system are six of the world’s seven sea turtle species. Sea turtles are among the marine creatures most endangered due to human activity. The destruction of their breeding grounds and their vulnerability to ocean pollution has helped make sea turtles a high-profile symbol for waste reduction and conservation.

A multitude of global and local threats

Pollution, mismanagement, coastal development, overfishing and warming temperatures are threatening the very survival of this Southeast Asian “nursery of the seas”.

According to the WWF’s Living Blue Planet Report, all of the Earth’s oceanic environments are in trouble. The populations of marine species have declined by half since 1970. Coral reef cover, in particular, has declined by half just during the past 30 years — and could disappear completely by 2015.

The disappearance of coral reefs is not simply an issue of conservation for its own sake. Globally, an estimated 850 million people depend on reefs for their survival and livelihood. In no place is this truer than in the Coral Triangle, which supports some 100 million people.

It is also the most vulnerable major reef system, with 85 percent classified as threatened, compared to a global average of 60 percent.

(Read the full story from Asian Correspondent.)

Avatar of Coral Triangle Written by Coral Triangle

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