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You are watching: Why are coral reefs overexploited?

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Top: Explosion native homemade bombs supplied for blast fishing in west Pacific. Photograph © Wolcott Henry 2005/Lynn FunkhauserMiddle: ruined reef due to blast fishing. Photo © Wolcott Henry 2005/Marine PhotobankBottom: Fish killed as result of blast fishing on a coral reef in Thailand. Blast fishing can kill numerous fish. Photo © 2004 Berkley White/Marine Photobank


Unsustainable fishing has been established as the many pervasive that all neighborhood threats come coral reefs.refOver 55% of the world’s reefs space threatened through overfishing and/or destructive fishing. Some regions, such together Southeast Asia, are specifically threatened, where practically 95% that reefs room affected. In fact, numerous of the world’s most remote coral reefs are greatly fished. Ref Reef fisheries are critical source the food and livelihood because that many coastal communities worldwide. In some cases, this fisheries space well managed and also can it is in a sustainable resource. However, fish stocks are significantly threatened due to many factors includingincreased demand for fish and seafood products; an ext efficient fishing methods; insufficient management and enforcement; and also lack of alternate livelihood options. Overfishing (i.e., catching an ext fish 보다 the system have the right to support) leads to declines in fish populations, ecosystem-wide impacts, and impacts on dependent human communities. Destructive fishing methods include the usage of explosives to death or shock fish, i beg your pardon destroys corals. This method, referred to as blast or dynamite fishing, shatters coral colonies and also kills the coral tissues on surrounding colonies. Since blast fishing is limited to shallower components of the reef, these delicate zones deserve to be reduced to rubble by repeated blasts, making recovery challenging or impossible and destroying huge sections the reef. One more destructive fishing technique involves the use of cyanide come stun and also capture fish lively for the live reef food fish or aquarium fish markets. Cyanide that is sprayed or dumped ~ above reefs have the right to damage and also kill corals. In addition, fishers often break corals as soon as attempting to extract the stunned fish, resulting in further damage to the coral reef ecosystem. Unfortunately, around one-third come one-half that fish gathered using this method die soon after they space harvested, refmaking this a particularly destructive method of harvest.

Some types of fishing gear, including gill nets and also beach seines, can likewise damage reef ecosystems. These species of fishing gear drag follow me the s floor and capture or flatten non-targeted juvenile types and corals in your path. Abandoned fishing gear, together as lost traps or nets, can proceed “ghost fishing,” i.e., ensnaring prey and smothering corals for months or years after deployment. RefAbandoned nets can likewise entangle and dislodge corals due to wave action. Additionally, scuba and hookah diving have actually opened increase deeper areas to fishers the sea cucumbers, pearl oysters, lobsters, octopus, fishes, seashells, and corals. Disastrous fishing techniques like dynamite, gill nets and also beach seines are highly unsustainable since they generally do not target certain fish types and often result in juveniles being killed in the process. Damages to the coral reef structure more reduces the efficiency of the area, hence adversely influence both the reef-dependent fish populations and likewise the livelihoods of fishers and nearby communities.

Impacts ofOverfishing and Destructive Fishing


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Left: A diver functions to remove sea turtles native an abandoned network off the coast of Brazil. Picture © Projeto Tamar Brazil/Marine Photobank Right: A reef is smothered and choked by abandoned fishing nets in Sabah, Malaysia. Picture © Nick Coburn Phillips, Borneo Sharkarma/Marine Photobank




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direct overexploitation that fish, invertebrates, and also algae for food and also the aquarium trade Removal of a varieties or group of species impacting multiple trophic level By-catch and also mortality of non-target species Changes from coral come algal prominence due to palliation in herbivores Physical impacts to reef environments connected with fishing techniques, fishing gear, and also anchoring the fishing ship ref

Such impacts are exacerbated when an unified with various other coral reef threatssuch together climate change, coral disease, and land-based sources of pollution. A number of management strategies to address overfishing and destructive fishing have actually been established including the facility of no-take areas within MPAs, seasonal closures come protect breeding sites, restrictions on number of people permitted to fish, varieties of fishing gear used, and the amounts or size of fish that deserve to be harvested.Read more about reef fisheries.

Resources

opens up in a new windowInternational Coral Reef to plan (ICRI) — condition of and Threats to Coral Reefs

opens in a brand-new windowNOAA Coral Reef Conservation program — Unsustainable Fishing

opens up in a new windowReefBase Resources and Status — worldwide Coral Reef surveillance Network