Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Because of the diversity of life found in the habitats created by corals, reefs are often called the “rainforests of the sea”.
Coral reefs are large underwater structures composed of the skeletons of colonial marine invertebrates called coral. Each individual coral is referred to as a polyp . As the centuries pass, the coral reef gradually grows, one tiny exoskeleton at a time, until they become massive features of the marine environment .
WHY IS CORAL REEF IMPORTANT FOR US?
Home to 33% of all known fish species despite occupying only 0.1% of the ocean
Nursery ground for over 25% of all marine species
Food — source for 10s of millions of people
Tourism and recreation — white sand beaches and islands derived from coral reefs
Income — BAPPENAS estimated the value of coral reefs in Indonesia is $2.4 million per year
Protect more than 50,000 km of Indonesia’s coastlines from wave erosion
BUT, It is Now on The Brink of Extinction…
Globally, we have lost more than 50% of coral reefs, and Indonesia is one of the countries that is affected the most.
Overfishing — industrial fishing had reduced the
number of large ocean fish to just 10% compared to pre-industrial.
Habitat destruction — The use of dynamite and
cyanide in fishing has devastating long-term effect.
Sedimentation — Coastal development and trees
removal have increased sediment run-off to the
ocean which is unfavorable to coral reef.
Pollution — Plastic and other debris that enter the ocean has a negative impact to reefs and its
Global warming — When the sea temperature is too high, they react by expelling this algae, leaving its white skeleton behind. This is known as ‘coral bleaching’. Some corals can feed themselves, but without the zooxanthellae most corals starve.