Coral reefs are essentially the most various of all marine ecosystems. They teem with life, with maybe one-quarter of all ocean species depending on reefs for meals and shelter. It is a outstanding statistic when you think about that reefs cowl only a tiny fraction (lower than one %) of the earth’s floor and fewer than two % of the ocean backside. As a result of they’re so various, coral reefs are sometimes known as the rainforests of the ocean.
Coral reefs are additionally essential to individuals. The worth of coral reefs has been estimated at 30 billion U.S. dollars and maybe as a lot as 172 billion U.S. dollars each year, offering meals, safety of shorelines, jobs based mostly on tourism, and even medicines.
Sadly, individuals additionally pose the best risk to coral reefs. Overfishing and damaging fishing, air pollution, warming, altering ocean chemistry, and invasive species are all taking an enormous toll. In some locations, reefs have been fully destroyed, and in lots of locations reefs as we speak are a pale shadow of what they as soon as have been.