Covering an area of 280,000km, coral reefs are nature’s beauty at its best. They are biologically rich and are endowed with such benefits which are of great help to the communities they support. Coral reefs are the oldest ecosystems on earth and they support innumerable species. Furthermore, coral reefs provide a unique source of food and shelter to those innumerable species. Diverse human needs are also fulfilled by coral reefs. Coral reefs help in a great way for the expansion of tourism, fisheries, guarding sea shore, and subsistence; in addition they are very essential for development of new medicines. The beaches, coastal dwellings and agricultural land are always under the threat of eroding away from the forces of the sea. Coral reefs stand as a fence against these forces.
However there are various factors which posed as a threat to these natural beauties. Coral reefs are particularly vulnerable to human actions. Human behavior such as over-fishing which sometimes also include bomb and cyanide fishing are dangerous to coral reefs. Furthermore, deforestation and dredging also cause harm to the coral reefs. Increasing chemical pollution and use of the coastal areas for transport and tourism development and increased mining of coral reef rock and sand are harming the subsistence of coral reefs. Climate change has also shown its effect on coral reefs.
Global warming is also hampering the ocean life. With global warming, ocean warming is increasing at a rapid pace and this is a big threat to the coral organisms. The marine organisms are very much sensitive to the temperatures in water and the effect of global warming can result in mass bleaching of the coral reefs. Zooxanthellae, an algae is responsible for providing 80percent of energy to the coral organism. Due to the ocean warming these algae expel or bleach which is a risk to their life. Subsequent to the bleaching of the coral, they normally die however they can be recovered if the condition of the ocean can be normalized almost immediately. However, this is unlikely in most cases as most of the time human-induced pressure stands as a hindrance for their survival.