Just 8% of Caribbean Reefs Now Have Living Coral

coral reef photoUS Fish & Wildlife Service/CC BY 2.0

Some stark news about the state of coral reefs in the Caribbean, coming via The Guardian: IUCN reports that the latest survey of reefs in the region shows that overall a mere 8% of them have live coral cover. In the 1970s over 50% of Caribbean reefs had live coral.

Let that sink in: Just 8% of Caribbean reefs have living coral now.

Pollution, overfishing and ocean acidification caused by climate change were cited as the reason for the massive decline.

The only part of the Caribbean not showing such a dire die-off are some more remote areas in the Netherlands Antilles and Cayman Islands, where 30% of live coral still remains.

Coral reef loss, due to the same factors as in the Caribbean, is a major worldwide problem—with dire consequences on the communities dependent on them. In Southeast Asia for example, all coral reefs could disappear this century, resulting in a decline in available food of 80%. Currently 95% of coral reefs in that region are endangered.

Tags: Coral Reefs | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects


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