Importance Of Coral Reefs

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Coral reefs are marine ridges which are a product of the deposition of calcium carbonate by living organisms, mainly corals which are a predominant structural habitat and are the foremost contributors to reef growth and development they also consist of a rich diversity of other organisms such as coralline algae and shellfish. They are a very valuable ecosystems on earth as they support more species per unit area than any other marine environment.

Food provision

Coral reefs feed fish and other marine animals that humans eat. It is estimated that over 1 billion people depend on food from coral reefs, reefs as a whole might be worth around $172 billion for every year they continue to provide essential services to humans such as food.

Economic growth

Coral reefs contribute to the economic growth of areas where they exist. Alot of people visit for fishing trips, leisure diving and also for academic tours. The service industry businesses in the surrounding area such as hotels, and restaurants, also provide numerous jobs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicated that the commercial value of United States of America, fisheries from coral reefs at over $100 million in 2001.


Coral reefs safeguard adjacent shorelines from wave action and tropical storms, they also avert erosion, property destruction and loss of life. Reefs also shield the wetlands along the coast, ports, harbors and the economies they support. It is estimated that half a billion people live within 100 kilometers of a coral reef and benefit from its production and protection. By preventing coastal erosion and loss of property on the shore, coral reefs save a lot of money each year that could have been used for insurance and reconstruction costs

Atoll islands is still in existence above the ocean’s surface despite the fact that the volcanic island upon which they first grew has cooled and sunk below the waves, thanks to the growth of corals and other reef-associated organisms like large foraminifera.

 They provide habitats and shelter for many marine organisms.

Coral reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, it is estimated that they provide habits for 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard corals and hundreds of other species. They provide a home to more than twenty-five percent of marine life in spite of the fact that they only occupy one percent of the water floor.

Promotes Tourism

Coral reefs are beautiful and naturally full of wonder. Diving below the water surface and seeing them is a wonderful experience and therefore areas with coral reefs are a major tourist destination. Sustainably managed coral reef based tourism provides a significant alternative source of income to the communities involved.

Conserving biodiversity.

Estimates vary greatly, but coral reefs are the most diverse ecosystem on earth; they likely at least rival terrestrial rainforests. Biodiversity helps to ensures that some life will continue to survive, even after major catastrophic events that wipe out many species. Ecosystems also provide services, for instance nursery habitat to edible fish species, which would be difficult and expensive to reproduce artificially.

Coral reefs have continued to deteriorate as a result of human influences. World Wildlife Fund predicts that 24% of the world’s reefs are under impending risk of collapse through human pressures .Rapid increases in the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration have also contributed to the decrease of coral reefs by driving global warming and ocean acidification which have deleterious consequences on coral reef ecosystems. In the United States, the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has the primary responsibility for stewardship of marine resources. The organization recommends   that we should not put garbage or human waste in the water or leave trash on the beach to avoid   coral reef damage.

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