Threats of the Coral Reef: Types, Reason, Challenges & Protection

One of the most unique and prolonged ecosystems on Earth is the coral reef. It is a wonder of nature. It faces a growing variety of dangers that threaten its existence and the survival of countless animal species that depend on it. These dangers include pollution, overfishing, habitat ruin & coral bleaching caused by rising ocean temperatures which indicate a severe threat to these essential underwater ecosystems.  Recognizing and dealing with threats of the coral reef is vital for protecting the health of our oceans and the delicate balance of life they sustain.

Different types of threats of the coral reef

Coral reefs have existed for many millions of years. Coral reefing covers less than 0.1% of the world’s ocean floor. Reefs grow in water. That is warm, narrow, clear, bright, and moving. They do, however, develop very slowly, ranging from 0.3 to 10 cm each year. The reefs we see now have grown throughout 5,000 to 10,000 years.

Just a few unique threats to the coral reef:

1. Bleaching as a result of warmer water.

2. Acidification of the oceans.

3. Poor water quality as the outcome of poor land use practices.

4. Storm-related physical damage.

5. Physical damage from boats.

6. Queen of Roses starfish – there is some evidence that this is a secondary problem. That results from water quality and climate issues which is threats of the coral reef.


6 main threats of the Great Barrier Reef

6 threats of the coral reef sources that have causes coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef:

1. Agricultural runoff: Chemical fertilizers and pollutants used in farming. It is washed into rivers and streams. That feeds the Great Barrier Reef, making harmful algae blooms and coral reef harm.

2. Coastal development: Marinas, airports, and other waterfront facilities may block normal water movement. Increasing to higher silt and nutrient levels in the reef.

3. Climate change: Rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification are severe risks to the Great Barrier Reef. Producing coral bleaching and possibly permanent harm to reef ecosystems.

4. Industrial activities: Spills, wastewater discharge, and industrial runoff can all contribute to pollution in the Great Barrier Reef.

5. Shipping: Shipping boats can inflict physical harm to the reef through incidents or port damage, as well as bring introduced plants and pollutants into the ecosystem.

6. Marine trash: Plastic waste and other marine garbage can harm aquatic life and harm reef systems in the Great Barrier Reef.

ocean products
ocean products

Biggest threats of the coral reef

Coral bleaching is a name used to describe the threats of the coral reef. The coral ultimately removes the zoo inside them all over this procedure. Zoo are tiny creatures famous for the corals’ brilliant colors.

The following are some of the most common threats of the coral reef:

1. Turbid water with a high quantity of dirt can block sunlight and harm coral polyps.

2. Extremely cold water can be harmful dependent on temperature reef plants and animals.

3. When the water warmth is too high. Coral polyps might release harmful algae. That lives mutually with the polyp. It is known as coral bleaching. It can harm the hard, reef-building corals’ base.

4. When water is polluted by vitamins and minerals, toxic chemicals, plastics, sewage, or waste, coral reefs will vanish.

5. Extremely high water pH levels can harm some people if not all, corals.

6. Air pollution and the footwear of people traveling over or touching coral polyps can harm the living creatures and plants that make up the reef.

7. When reefs become damaged, jellyfish and shellfish suffer. Because they lack access to food, shelter, and nursery places.

Let us aim to stop the effects of coral reef destruction on the environment for better ecosystem.

ocean threats
ocean threats

Coral Reef & Ecosystem

A coral reef is a living organism colony. It contains vegetation, fish, and a variety of other species. Coral reefs are among the world’s richest ecosystems. They support around 25% of all marine life!

beautiful coral
beautiful coral

Sponge, sea snails, oysters, clams, squid, prawns, sea insects, starfish and sea urchins, jellyfish, and sea anemones. Many varieties of bacteria, sea turtles, and several fish species can be found. Consider them the “rainforests of the oceans” Along with that there are a lot of coral reef found in Australia and Queensland.

Read: Coral Reefing adventure: Discovering the Ocean’s Wonders

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. It is made up of around 2900 unique reefs and 900 islands that run for nearly 2600 km off Australia’s northeast coast.

beautiful coral
beautiful coral

Importance of coral reefs

The importance of coral reefs & their functions is as follows:

1. Protect beaches from damaging waves by absorbing wave energy.

 2. Create a safe area for fish to hatch (release eggs into the sea).

 3. Provide habitat for a wide range of species.

4. Provide food (fish and shellfish) for a large number of people who live along beaches.

5. Are a source of medication—Reefs provide several anti-cancer and painkiller medications.

6. Support to the carbon cycle.

7. They are a good marker for ocean water quality. Reef health = water health.

coral products
coral products

Great barrier reef threats

The greatest risks to the health of this reef system are climate change, pollution, crown-of-thorns starfish, and fishing. Shipping disasters, oil spills, and tropical cyclones are all possible risks. Skeletal Loss of Band is a bony coral disease caused by the bacteria Halofolliculina corallasia that affects 31 different coral species. According to a 2012 National Academy of Sciences research. The Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half of its corals since 1985, with two-thirds of the loss occurring in 1998 owing to the conditions identified as per Wikepedia.

Effects of coral reef destruction on the environment

Climate change, pollution, overfishing, and the crown-of-thorns starfish growing are all threats to the coral reef.

1. Rising sea temperatures cause coral bleaching and death. 

2. Ocean acidification caused by increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

3. Coastal growth and poor water quality caused by agricultural and industrial runoff.

4. Destroying ecosystems that promote reef health, such as mangroves and sea grass.

5. Human activities that raise the danger of oil spills and shipping accidents. Which may cause substantial harm & threat of the coral reef.

For More, Checkout below:

Animal injured because of ship
Animal injured because of ship

How to protect the threats of the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the only coral reef that suffered major harm. The Great Barrier Reef is typical in that it is controlled wholly by Australia. Which has strict anti-pollution and anti-plastic rules.

Politicians in Australia seem to believe that carbon foods. Especially plastics are threats of the coral reefs. Politicians in Australia claim to believe in global warming. It will increase sea temperatures, causing ‘bleaching’ and the death of coral reef members.

In the previous 11 years, the Great Barrier Reef has been affected. At least eight serious bleaching episodes. Three of those situations happened with very low sea conditions. Counter to political projections.

Plastic and agricultural pollutants that were once found in the Great Barrier Reef have been greatly reduced in recent years. As a result, ocean life that uses fertilizers has declined and life forms. Those who use plastic for energy, such as corals, fish, plankton, algae, fungi, and bacteria, have died.

When the temperature of the water rises. Algae become more active, producing more oxygen. Yet, if the coral does not collect enough food, the algae are not satisfied. Do not create oxygen, and eventually become threats to the coral reef, causing it to die. This is referred to as bleaching. After a bleaching episode, coral normally dies. Warmer water carries less oxygen than cooler water. So bleaching is connected with it. Warmer seas are thought to threats of the coral reef because they ‘breathe’ fresh air versus producing their own through plant colonies according to less-than-scientific minds.   

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