Benefits Of Coral Reefs

1137 Words5 Pages
Coral reefs form in warm tropical climates and are among the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world (Birkeland 2007). Highly complex and productive, coral reefs boast not only hundreds, but tens of thousands of species including hard and soft corals, reef fishes, crustaceans and starfishes, many of which are still undescribed by science (Hoegh-Guldberg 1999), making them the most biologically diverse among the shallow water marine ecosystems (Roberts et al. 2001). The Philippine archipelago is located at the apex of the ‘Indo-Pacific Coral Triangle’ (Veron 1995; Allen and Werner 2002), which is the region hosting the richest assemblage of coral and fish species worldwide. The triangle also includes parts of Indonesia, Malaysia,…show more content…
Benefits derived from coral reefs include marine fishery, research, recreational and tourism benefits, and natural protection for the shoreline (UNEP 2004). In the Philippines, nearly 70 percent of the protein food intake is from fish and reef fisheries in the country has been estimated to directly contribute to around 15-30 percent of the total national municipal fisheries (Murdy and Ferraris 1980). But despite their importance and endurance over geological time, in reality, coral reefs are one of the most fragile among the planet’s environments which are being continually destroyed at an alarming rate. Just like their terrestrial counterparts, the rainforests, the coral reefs are also being incessantly subjected to a diverse range of anthropogenic threats including eutrophication, sedimentation, overfishing, mining and physical destruction by reef users (Sebens 1994), all of which could cause extinction of marine populations (Dulvy et al. 2003), changes in reef fish assemblages (McClanahan and Arthur 2001) and species loss (Lavides et al. 2010). The Philippines in particular is already experiencing a rapid decline in fish catch rates both at the municipal and commercial levels (Aliño et al. 2006; Armada 2004). Although numerous marine protected areas (MPA) have been established to alleviate the effects of habitat degradation (Russ and Alcala 1999; Stockwell et al. 2009) and coral loss (Selig and Bruno 2010) in order to maintain the integrity of fish-habitat interaction (Carpenter et al. 1981; Chabanet et al. 1997), effective management has only amounted to 3% of the total reef area of the country and is insufficient to contribute significantly to the need to compensate for the very high levels of

More about Benefits Of Coral Reefs

Open Document