Healthy, Coral reefs are the most spectacular, diverse and economically valuable marine ecosystems on the planet, Complex and productive, coral reefs are extremely important for biodiversity, providing a home to 35,000–60,000 species of plants and animals (over 25% of all marine life), many of which are not described by science. They are also vital for people and business. They provide nurseries for many species of commercially important fish, protection of coastal areas from storm waves. They are providing hundreds of billions of dollars in food, jobs and significant attraction for the tourism industry. Yet coral reef ecosystems have undergone phase shifts to alternate, degraded assemblages because of the combined human activates of unsustainable overfishing, intensive tourism, urbanization, sedimentation, declining water quality, pollution and primarily from the direct and indirect impacts of climate change. Most coral ecologists confirm that coral reef degradation has increased dramatically during the last three decades due to enhanced anthropogenic disturbances and their interaction with natural stressors. So, it is necessary to recognize the threats facing coral reefs from anthropogenic activities and try to minimize and mitigate these impacts.
Part of the book: Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences