Topics: Coral reef, Marine biology, Coral Pages: 1 (271 words) Published: November 2, 2014
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Assignment 1: to be submitted on or before 26th Sept 2014 (Friday) by e-mail * Late-submission will be downgraded

A murky future
“For too long, Hong Kong has ignored the marine environment and the effects of continued dredging, reclamation and destructive fishing methods … and there’s also been a propensity for people to want to collect everything alive that they see in the water,” says Clarus Chu, senior conservation officer for the Worldwide Fund for Nature. A report completed in 1998 found fisheries in most areas had fallen by more than 50 percent since the late 1980s, and fish fry production had fallen by 3 times.

Vital species
Green turtles, which nested once on Lamma Island, have not been seen there for more than one decade, and there has been an increase in invertebrate attacks on coral communities in marine parks, the result of over harvesting of predators and an imbalance in the marine ecology, Chu said.

Clusters of delicate marine organisms form coral reefs in a process that may take millions of years. The reefs are built up from the calcium carbonate, secreted by tiny animals which secrete the bone like material as an exoskeleton.

Often called the rainforests of the sea, coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Occupying an area around the globe half the area of France, reefs are home to a quarter of all marine species. Most commonly found in tropical waters at shallow depths, corals can also grow at deeper and colder depths.

There is an intrinsic link between fish populations and coral, akin to nurseries to humans.

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