Human Impact On Coral Reefs

Decent Essays
The rate of natural extinction occurs at a rate of one to five species every year. According to Joanna Zelmen, from The Huffington Post, there are over 2,500 species of coral alone, and they could all be threatened by the year 2050. Humans uphold the biggest influence on the diminishing reefs through overfishing, construction, and pollution, but we can also have the biggest impact to help these strange yet beautiful animals.
Human impact has a major influence on the coral reefs. The biggest threat is pollution and construction. As many as 2.5 billion people reside within 60 miles off of an oceans coast, and as much as 80-90% of the waste from Southeast Asia, Pacific, and Caribbean gets deposited into the ocean. Many coastal industries/development have been dumping their wastes into our oceans because it is cheaper in the short run. In addition, many construction sites have sediment runoff from rainfall where unwanted chemicals flow into our ocean waters. This causes increase levels of toxins, and spikes of the pH
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The most threatened region of the world is Southeast Asia where nearly 95% of the reef is affected. Countries in these regions use a couple different methods of harvesting fish for the food and aquarium market. The two most common destructive methods of overfishing are through the use of dynamite and cyanide. In fact, homemade bombs and dynamite are being thrown into the reefs killing, maiming, and stunning fish to be captured then sold. The blast radius from these small bombs are not only devastating the fish population, but are also shattering many large colonies of coral. Spraying or dumping cyanide into the reefs is also commonly used to capture fish. This fishing method is very wasteful, killing close to half of the fish before exportation. When the fisherman adds the cyanide to the water it not only harms the fish, but it is also poisoning the corals in the surrounding
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