Coral Reefs
Topics: Coral reef / Pages: 7 (1560 words) / Published: Feb 10th, 2014

Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. “ Coral reefs cover an area of less than a quarter of one percent of all the earth 's marine environment, yet they are one of the world 's most diverse habitats, supporting one third of all fish species, and have been growing in the world 's oceans for 450 million years”(Taylor). Although the coral reef ecosystems are such a small part of our planet they provide millions of jobs, food, and perhaps most importantly medicine. Coral reefs are very fragile and are threatened by many of the global environmental issues facing the planet. Because of overfishing, ocean acidification, and pollution coral reefs are dying. In order to help save coral reefs their needs to be an effort to reduce chemical and carbon output, stop polluting the oceans, and reduce the amount of fishing in coral reefs. If the proper actions are not taken coral reefs will undoubtedly die off and be lost forever.
Overfishing is extremely harmful to coral reefs. Overfishing is caused when fisherman harvest a specific species of fish at a rate faster than the fish are able to reproduce, subsequently killing off the total fish population. “Healthy populations of fish eat seaweed, keeping the plant in balance. As fish populations have diminished, seaweed has increased, fed by human sewage. Without enough fish to eat the seaweed, the seaweed strangles the coral reefs” (Baker). Coral reefs depend on a diverse combination of marine species, animals and plants, which keep the reef ecosystem properly balanced and healthy. Each species of marine life has a vital and important role in keeping the reef healthy and flourishing. In the reef ecosystem the algae which lives on the corals are the producers, they create energy through photosynthesis, the herbivorous fish in turn eat the plant life, and the carnivorous fish eat the herbivorous fish keeping the reef balanced. “When harvested sustainably, live fish from a healthy



Cited: Taylor, Anna. "Can Algae-Eating Fish Save Our Coral Reefs?." Ecologist40.13 (2010): 4-5. Environment Complete. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. Baker, Sherry. "Rescuing The Reefs." Discover 29.6 (2008): 15. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Dec. 2013 N.p.. Web. 7 Dec 2013. . CREARY, MARCIA. "Impacts Of Climate Change On Coral Reefs And The Marine Environment." UN Chronicle 50.1 (2013): 24. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. "Farms Are Choking Great Barrier Reef." New Scientist216.2890 (2012): 18. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. NOAA, . N.p.. Web. 10 Dec 2013.

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