Have any of you readers ever been scuba diving in the big blue? If not, I highly recommend it. I went a few years ago in Cozumel, Mexico and it was a life-changing experience. However, I propose you mark this expedition off your bucket list sooner than later. While scuba diving I was able to see a lot of vividly colored fish along with beautiful coral reefs. Though I didn’t get close enough to touch a reef, I could see how big of a role they played in the underwater environment. Fish were constantly swarming in and out of the reefs just like we hustle and bustle in and out of our houses. In fact, coral reefs are exactly that; a home to all fish. My point of this post however is to tell you all about the damage we are doing to these coral reefs. The reason I told you earlier to go about this scuba diving expedition soon is because according to the National Wildlife Federation, 16 percent of coral reefs around the world have been wiped out. As the years go by, even more coral reefs are going to be wiped out if we continue going along the same damaging path.
Coral reefs provide not only a home for fish, but also protection from other predators. If we continually overfish or employ destructive fishing practices, the coral reefs are going to decrease which will then lead to a fish population decrease. Fish would no longer be able to find shelter or protection and then would either be swept up by large nets or eaten by predators higher on the food chain. Are you starting to understand why the preservation of coral reefs is so critical?
Now, I’m going to explain to you a couple of ways we can help fix and even reverse this damage we have been doing to the reefs. The National Wildlife Federation has launched a public awareness act in order to save the reefs. One call to action they mention is to never anchor on a reef. Often times when boating in the ocean, people will drop the anchor whenever and wherever they feel like it. However, one needs to be aware of what is underneath them before they drop the anchor. If an anchor lands on a coral reef, it not only damages the reef and the fish living inside, but also can get hooked on it and pulled away from the roots. This suddenly leaves hundreds of fish without a home. Another solution the National Wildlife Federation proposes is that you should volunteer with organizations that help clean waterways, whether it is lakes, rivers, and bays. All waterways ultimately affect the ocean so if we help keep all bodies of water clean, then we will keep pollution that could potentially be harmful to the reefs.
As you can see, coral reefs are experiencing a major decline, and with this decline we also see a potential decrease in the fish population as well. We all need to come together and work to keep our coral reefs. After all, wouldn’t it be a disappointment to go scuba diving only to find an empty, colorless ocean?
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