Thursday, December 4, 2008

What we can do to preserve coral reef

by Charles Roring in Manokwari West Papua
Coral reef is one of the most important ecosystems in the world. It is more diverse than any tropical rainforest around the world. In recent days, many corals have died due to garbages thrown to the sea and destructive fishing practices such as bottom trawling and blast fishing. In general the greatest threat which coral reef ecosystem face is more related to global warming. 
So, divers are not the only ones who bear the responsibility in protecting the coral reef. All of us are responsible for that. Reducing CO2 emission is one of the ways that we can do to preserve coral reef ecosystem. Therefore the use of renewable energy other than fossil fuel is highly recommended. We can also improve our environment by biking to work or school. The higher the amount of CO2 that we can reduce the better the coral reef environment can become.
Coral reef is home to various kinds of fish and marine animals. The destruction of the coral for souvenir will be the destruction of the whole marine ecosytem thus endangering the survivability of endangered marine animals such as dugong dugong, turtles and whales. It is important for city dwellers to recylcle their domestic wastes as they will be the real threats to coral reef. One plastic tote bag can cover a fifty year old coral thus blocking the sunlight it needs to do the photosynthesis. Beach clean up should be conducted regulary especially in cities that are located along the beach.
In addition to develop an environmental friendly lifestyle, we can support a number of projects which aim at preserving the coral reef environment. Although we are not divers, we can log on to certain marine protected areas websites and buy their entrance tickets. By doing so, we have directly give our financial contribution to projects such as turtle conservation, beach clean up and coral reef preservation works.
Pacific islands have coral reefs that are still in pristine condition. Some of the best coral reefs can be found in Raja Ampat, Cendrawasih National Marine Park, Mapia island of Biak, Palau island. Global community must pay attention to this region by giving support to the preservation works. Some diving operators have been opened in Raja Ampat islands but more attention should also be given to improve the economic condition of the villagers living in the area so that they will have better life without having to do destructive fishing practices.
The last important thing which we can do to protect coral reef is by avoiding to by sea products that are related to the destruction of coral reef. These products include ornamental fish and corals for aquarium. Necklaces, or bracelet whose materials are made of reef species. .