Everybody has a perspective about Ocean life and how it is being treated as of now and the issues that it is facing. That aside, coral reefs are easily one of the most interesting life forms you can find in the ocean and their ecosystem is colorful enough for any e Ocean lover to fall for. However, the risk of destruction due to avoidable issues has become a serious threat to coral reefs. This is why there is a need to create awareness, starting with the facts about coral reefs. In this article, we have discussed those facts and some ideas that might surprise you.
Let us start with the basics about coral reefs being only less than 1% of the entire ocean but has the capability to provide a home for around 25% of the world marine life. We have over 4,000 species of fish relying on coral reefs for their homes. Usually, there is a common misconception about Corals being plants but they are not. Corals are not rocks either. In actual fact, they are animals and you can find a lot of hard and soft varieties of corals living together, and the groups are termed colonies.
As we said earlier, coral reefs are home to several varieties of fishes and there is also food for some fishes and humans as well. There is an estimate of around 500 million people consuming the fish found in coral reefs.
Now that we have established the basics about coral reefs being animals and their capacity to take care of both humans and fishes, let’s talk about growth. Coral reefs thrive in clear and Shallow water and they can grow as deep as 70m to reach out to sunlight because they need sunlight to grow. But then, too much heat can be harmful as the corals and algae have a symbiotic relationship making the corals expel algae when the ocean gets too warm. This process is termed bleaching and as a survival attempt, corals are emitting vibrant colors and a global glowing campaign has been initiated to do their research on the same.
Now that you know the survival tactics of coral reefs and their important role in protecting several organisms, it also has a role to play in protecting coastal communities. They have the capacity to act as a buffer and they can slow down the water flow and prevent any sort of coastal erosion. Especially the deep sea coral especially has nothing to do with photosynthesis and can survive in warm water as well by surviving through food particles from the surrounding waters.
Coral reef formation dates back to at least 240 million years ago and the coral reefs you see today are at least 5000 to 10000 years old. With all the benefits it provides, including being a huge driver of tourism, it needs to survive despite the lame attempt by humans to completely destroy them. The destruction of one part of the ecosystem might become a toxic cycle that will eventually impact humans only and we need to start understanding that.