Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Global Warming/Climate Change.

As my country is host of the world’s largest known deep sea coral reefs outside Lofoten, and my wife’s country is part of the richest marine region on Earth, The Coral Triangle between Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, it makes me sad to learn about the new report Reefs at Risk Revisited from the World Resources Institute. Today three out of four coral reefs are in danger. Worldwide the threat against coral reefs has increased by 30 percent in just ten years. This is an extremely serious situation, as a large part of the world’s population is depended upon fisheries sustained by these reefs, and their protection against storms. And they are a gene bank for the future.

The threats are destructive fishing with dynamite, poisons and bottom trawling, building projects in coastal areas, runoff from deforestation, agriculture and cities, and surely climate change and the acidification of the oceans. Ocean acidification is an even more immediate threat to cold water coral reefs, as cold water absorbs more CO2. Warmer water leads to coral bleaching which can result in death if unchecked. In Norway about 30 – 50 percent of our coral reefs are destroyed by bottom trawling.

If drastic measures are not taken soon the report concludes that our descendants will have no possibility to experience intact coral reefs by year 2050. The knock-on effects for the rest of the web of life within our biosphere go far beyond human food and economic needs however.

Download the report Reefs at Risk Revisited.

3 Responses to “All the World’s Coral Reefs Could Be Destroyed by 2050”

  1. michel Fanton

    Yes for all the causes named above for the destruction of coral gardens. Add to that in the Pacific island nations (Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Tahiti in Polynesia, PNG and Papua, Solomon Islands, Fiji etc) the earth moving to make house terraces on steep slopes, agricultural pesticides, agricultura run off via creeks to lagoon, and more.(my observations and talking to locals only)
    When we visit our blood family in Tahiti i could not show to my children the paradise coral gardens I used to spend so much time diving amongst, loosing notion of time . Instead all i could show them was a grey looking masses of dead coral. Most of the coral fish and sea shells, sea life had gone.
    They are growing back but soooo slowly.
    In the Solomon Islands, Malaita island, entire villages in the bay of Singalagu mums cannot fish any longer in the magnificient protected bay. It is a waste of time for them the men have to take risk and go to the reef and use engine where petrol costs above 10 Aus/ US dollars a gallon ( more than $2 a litre for the majority of the world in metric).
    The good news is that everyone is aware of the reasons now and keen to do something about it. There are many taboos on place of fishing. This is the self regulated Indigenous and Community Conservation Areas. google this for more info
    ‘ ICCAs are natural and/or modified ecosystems containing significant biodiversity values, ecological services and cultural values, voluntarily conserved by Indigenous peoples and local communities, both sedentary and mobile, through customary laws or other effective means. ICCAs can include ecosystems with minimum to substantial human influence as well as cases of continuation, revival or modification of traditional practices or new initiatives taken up by communities in the face of new threats or opportunities. Several of them are inviolate zones ranging from very small to large stretches of land and waterscapes.

    Three features car be taken as defining charateristics of ICCAs:

    A community is closely connected to a well defined ecosystem (or to a species and its habitat) culturally and/or because of survival and dependence for livelihood;
    The community management decisions and efforts lead to the conservation of the ecosystem’s habitats, species, ecological services and associated cultural values [even when the conscious objective of such management may be different than conservation per se, and be, for instance, related to material livelihood, water security, safeguarding of cultural and spiritual places, etc.].
    The community is the major player in decision-making (governance) and implementation regarding the management of the site, implying that community institutions have the capacity to enforce regulations; in many situations there may be other stakeholders in collaboration or partnership, but primary decision-making rests with the concerned community.’

    Reply

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