Jakarta Globe –
More than 85 percent of reefs in Asia’s “Coral Triangle” are directly threatened by human activities such as coastal development, pollution, and overfishing, a new report warned on Monday.
Launched at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns, it said the threat was substantially more than the global average of 60 percent and urged greater efforts to reduce destructive fishing and run-off from land.
“When these threats are combined with recent coral bleaching, prompted by rising ocean temperatures, the percent of reefs rated as threatened increases to more than 90 percent,” the report said.
The Coral Triangle covers Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, The Solomon Islands, and East Timor and contains nearly 30 percent of the world’s reefs and more than 3,000 species of fish. More than 130 million people living in the region rely on reef ecosystems for food, employment, and revenue from tourism, according to “Reefs at Risk Revisited in the Coral Triangle.”
“Across the Coral Triangle region, coastal communities depend on coral reefs for food, livelihoods, and protection from waves during storms, but the threats to reefs in this region are incredibly high,” said lead author Lauretta Burke.