Coral reefs are remarkable ecosystems, home to over 25% of the world’s known marine species, providing valuable tourism income, and even more crucially, vital food to remote fishing communities around the world – coral reef fisheries support around 275 million people, many with few alternative sources of food.
But coral reefs across the world are dying – being destroyed by a combination of local and global impacts.
Overfishing, pollution and rising ocean temperatures and increasing levels of dissolved carbon dioxide are progressively causing coral bleaching and subsequent death.
Several authorities suggest that very few healthy reefs will be left by 2030, and virtually none by 2050, unless the world manages to control both local and global threats to these valuable, but vulnerable ecosystems.
Photo from USFWS, via Flickr