As most of you regular visitors to the Boat & Yacht Report are aware of, my sentiments on the overall environment and in particular, that which concerns what happens to our watery world are always in a heightened sense of awareness. I came across this posting by TTC News; an E-bulletin service that I subscribe to, delivering in three languages–English, Spanish, and Italian–nine times a week in a global distribution network and decided it’s a perfect fit for my GREEN DOCK. It’s a topic that deserves attention and after reading it, I hope you will pay it forward as well. It’s our world after all. -Capt. Ken
“The Caribbean coral reefs thread along thousands of kilometers of coastline, providing a source of food and livelihood for millions.” Achim Steiner, U.N Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, said in a press release. “Unfortunately, these valuable ecosystems are under mounting pressures from human activities which contribute to the degradation and damage of sediment and pollution to coastal waters. Coral bleaching caused by the rising sea temperature adds to the challenge …”
That’s the new warning not only on corals, but about global warming and the deterioration of nature threatening also the Caribbean tourist havens.
The report, titled “Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012,” was issued by International Union for Conservation of Nature, United Nations Environment Program and Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and analyzed research for over three years from over 90 experts. According to the report, since the 1970s Caribbean coral reef population has decreased over 50 percent.
Many concerned people in the world think that governments and international authorities are not doing enough to stop a process that in the end, can transform our beautiful green planet into a barren, lifeless world. There are many examples of such a process can be moving. In the Caribbean alternate disasters caused by heavy rains and drought more than ever before in recorded history.
The opinion of the report of the U.N Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director is that although global warming has been said to contribute to this decline, a decrease in the number of parrot fish and sea urchins is also to blame. The sea creatures eat seaweed, and without them, seaweed numbers have increased, suffocating coral reefs. Not only corals are affected but also the fauna. Fish not only beautify the waters of the Caribbean and around the world, but feed millions of people.
Some in the Caribbean are already taking action against those threats. The island of Barbuda is about to ban all catches of parrot fish and grazing sea urchins and set aside one-third of its coastal waters as marine reserves. Ayana Johnson of the Waitt Institute’s Blue Halo Initiative, which is working with Barbuda, said in a release that “this is the kind of aggressive management that needs to be replicated regionally if we are going to increase the resilience of Caribbean reefs.”
In addition to overfishing, Jackson named coastal degradation and diseases as reasons for dropping coral reef numbers.
Currently, the Caribbean has almost 8,000 square miles of coral reefs, AP reports. In addition to being valuable to the ecosystem, they are also valuable to economies as they create $3 billion from tourism and fishing every year. “Coral reef degradation and mortality will significantly impact the region’s economy through reduced habitat for fish and shellfish, diminished tourism and reduced capacity to protect the shoreline against rising sea levels,” Steiner continued. “We need strong collaboration at the local, national and regional levels to build resilience and reduce threats to coral reefs and the livelihoods of those who depend on them”, Johnson said.
There are terrible problems stalking the global environment. A study led by the Spanish council finds that all oceans have plastic pollution. Life on both Earth’s poles is increasingly threatened by high average temperatures that cause melting ice. Powerful droughts in Africa move step by step finishing with fertile land that is also the habitat of animals that could go extinct.
The report says there is still hope in saving the coral reefs if issues like global warming are addressed with “concrete steps.”
But the planetary environment requires much more, with real urgency.
TTC News firstname.lastname@example.org
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