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Importance Of Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems on the Earth. Coral reefs play an important role in....Importance Of Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems on the Earth. Coral reefs play an important role in marine ecosystems and support the habitats of flora and fauna in the sea. The vast diversity of animal and plant species that contributes to its system are increasingly at risk due to climate change.

  • Diverse forms of life abound in coral reefs. One reef is home to tens of thousands of species. The Great Barrier Reef is home to around 400 different kinds of coral, 1,500 different kinds of fish, 4,000 different kinds of mollusks, and six of the world’s seven different kinds of sea turtles.
  • It is impossible to locate coral reefs that live in dirty water because coral reefs clean the water they are in. As a result, the ocean water is extremely clear because of the abundance of corals and sponges that feed on ocean particles.
  • Over 500 million people around the world rely on reefs for food, employment, and defence against coastal threats. Wave energy can be reduced by up to 97% by coral reef ridges, making them an important barrier against hazards like tsunamis. Marine animals and coastal populations benefit from the protection of mangrove forests and seagrass beds, which serve as nurseries for marine life.
  • Asthma, arthritis, cancer, and heart disease have all benefited from the usage of reef-dwelling animal and plant extracts.
  • As a result of reefs being damaged or destroyed, coastal towns are at greater risk from both normal wave action and major storms. Coral reefs in the United States are home to millions of people. In order to meet the infrastructure needs of coastal communities and the burgeoning coastal tourism industry, some coastal development is essential.
  • Coastal protection: Healthy reefs act as natural barriers, protecting coastal areas and beaches from strong ocean waves.
  • Without coral reefs, many beaches and buildings become vulnerable to wave and storm damage. With more frequent storms due to climate change, these coastal protection services will become even more important.
  • In the tsunami of December 2004, some coastlines were protected from severe damage because of healthy reefs.
  • Food: Reef fish are a source of protein for a billion people, especially for those living near reefs.
  • Medicine : Coral reefs are called the medicine chests of the sea. Some creatures found on reefs produce compounds that have been used for human applications.
  • Several treatments for diseases like Asthma, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, ulcers, Leukaemia, etc from chemicals in reef plants and animals.
  • Coral’s unique skeletal structure has been used for making bone-grafting materials.
  • Tourism : Healthy reefs support local—and global—economies. The tourism industry and fisheries, coral reefs generate billions and provide jobs for millions around the world.
  • Countries with coral reef industries get most of the gross national product from them.
  • A study estimated the value of coral reefs at $10 billion and direct economic benefits of $360 million per year.
Ques 1. How do coral reefs contribute to the overall health of the ocean?

Ans. Coral reefs play a vital role in maintaining the overall health and balance of marine ecosystems. They support high biodiversity, acting as habitats and nurseries for numerous marine organisms. Coral reefs also contribute to nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, and shoreline protection, which are crucial for the well-being of the ocean and its ecosystems.

Ques 2. Why are coral reefs considered economically valuable?

Ans. Coral reefs provide significant economic benefits to coastal communities and countries. They support vibrant tourism industries, attracting visitors for activities such as snorkeling, diving, and boating. Coral reefs also play a vital role in supporting fisheries, providing a source of food and livelihoods for millions of people worldwide. Additionally, coral reefs have potential for bioprospecting and the discovery of new medicines, which further adds to their economic value.

Ques 3. How do coral reefs protect coastlines?

Ans. Coral reefs act as natural barriers, protecting coastlines from erosion and storm damage. The complex structure of coral reefs reduces the force of waves and dissipates their energy before reaching the shore. This helps prevent erosion and provides a buffer against coastal hazards, benefiting nearby communities and infrastructure. The protection offered by coral reefs is particularly important in vulnerable coastal areas susceptible to storms and sea-level rise.

Importance Of Coral Reefs,Importance Of Coral Reefs

Read Also : Functions Of Coral Reefs in The Ocean

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