Coral reefs are one of the Earth’s most diverse and vibrant ecosystems, often referred to as the “rainforests of the sea”. However, they are facing a dire threat that demands our immediate attention: coral loss. Globally, we have lost more than 50% of coral reefs, and one country deeply affected by this crisis is Indonesia (Indonesia Biru Foundation (IBF), instagram @indonesiabirufoundation).
Indonesia, known for its stunning marine biodiversity, has been severely impacted by coral loss. Several factors have contributed to this decline, making it essential to understand the root causes and take action to preserve these invaluable ecosystems. One of the primary culprits behind coral loss is overfishing. Industrial fishing has decimated the population of large ocean fish, leaving only 10% of their pre-industrial numbers. This has a cascading effect on coral reefs, disrupting the delicate balance of marine life they support.
Habitat destruction is another significant contributor to coral loss. The use of destructive methods such as dynamite and cyanide in fishing has long-lasting consequences for coral reefs, causing irreversible damage to their structure and vitality. Sedimentation resulting from coastal development and deforestation adds to the challenges faced by coral reefs. Increased sediment runoff into the ocean smothers and suffocates coral reefs, hindering their growth and survival.
Pollution, particularly plastic and debris entering the ocean, poses a grave threat to coral reefs and their associated organisms. These pollutants can entangle and harm corals while introducing toxins into their environment, further compromising their health. Global warming exacerbates the peril faced by coral reefs. Rising sea temperatures trigger a phenomenon known as “coral bleaching,” where corals expel the symbiotic algae that give them their vibrant colors. Without these algae, many corals struggle to survive, ultimately leading to their demise.
The alarming data from indonesiabiru.id website underscores the urgency of preserving coral reefs in Indonesia and worldwide. Coral reefs not only support an incredible array of marine life but also provide livelihoods for millions of people and protect coastlines from erosion and storm damage. To combat coral loss, a concerted effort is required. This includes sustainable fishing practices, strict regulation of harmful fishing methods, reforestation efforts to reduce sediment runoff, and a collective commitment to reduce plastic pollution. Moreover, addressing climate change through carbon emission reduction is paramount to curbing coral bleaching events.
Beside practicing sustainable lifestyle, we would like to invite you to be the coral hero by contributing in coral preservation and involvement in coral plantation in person with Indonesia Biru Foundation in our open trip “Action for Locals” which will take place on 17-19 November 2023. Let’s take your part in helping mother nature heal and be the coral hero! For more information you can check our North Lombok Open Trip page, send us message via whatsapp and follow our social media.