According to Walker and Salt, “Coral Reefs are the jewels of the Caribbean Crown”.  Coral reefs protect the shoreline, create sand, provide food and is apart of a thriving tourism industry, yet it is the people who are killing them.  One-third of the reefs are threatened by coastal development, sewage discharge, urban runoff, construction and tourist development.  The decrease in coral reefs began when sediment killed the coral, nutrients and fish in the area.  Seaweed started to take over since theres not as many feeder fish to eat and keep it under control.  Different fishing methods such as troiling, cyanide fishing and dynamite fishing are also killing the coral reefs.  Climate change is yet another big factor in the decrease of coral reefs.  Even the most robust species can’t live in high temperatures.  In the process of destroying the coral, we are also destroying so many habitats of fish species.

(The video below shows the incredible relationships the corals share with other species)

Deep Sea Adventure

(This is an informational video that proves that corals reefs are being affected all over the world.)

Coral Reefs

Coral reefs grow 1 centimeter a year, so if we started protecting them now, we wouldn’t see a change for hundreds of years.  If this doesn’t scare you , I’m not sure what will.  If we keep destroying these beautiful organisms, we will never get them back because they take too long to grow back.  We are taking for granted how important they are.  Caribbean coral reefs bring in between $3.1 to $4.6 billion dollars from fisheries, dive tourism and shore line protection.  Like Walker and Salt said, “for all its importance to the region’s prosperity and future”, we are a direct cause for the decline.  There are several ways we can help the coral reefs, such as ban all types of commerical fishing in certain areas to allow the coral and coral reefs to grow back.  Also, even though scuba diving and snorkling is a big tourist attraction, we should cut back on it because people step on the coral and the stress will kill them.  If we don’t do something soon, we won’t have a coral reefs to observe anyway. We are to blame for this problem, so we need to step up and fix it!