Coral reefs are the most diverse and beautiful of all marine habitats. Large wave resistant structures have accumulated from the slow growth of corals. The reef is topographically complex. Much like a rain forest, it has many strata and areas of strong shade, cast by the overtowering coral colonies. Because of the complexity, thousands of species of fish and invertebrates live in association with reefs, which are by far our richest marine habitats.
In Caribbean reefs, for example, several hundred species of colonial invertebrates can be found living on the undersides of platy corals. It is not unusual for a reef to have several hundred species of snails, sixty species of corals, and several hundred species of fish. Of all ocean habitats, reefs seem to have the greatest development of complex symbiotic associations.
It’s very sad that many coral reefs have been damaged in the past by fishermen. Many fishermen used cyanide and dynamite to get fish in a more easy and fast way. To use the cyanide was an effective way not to kill but paralyze (put them to sleep) the fish for some time. It was then easy to collect the fish in a relative short time. The fish was sold to traders. Using the dynamite by the fishermen caused a lot of damage to coral reefs.
My daughter who dives a lot informed me that there is so much that is happening underwater. Destroying the marine environment affects the coral reefs and the life in and around them first.
My idea is that if the reefs where looked upon as the natural thermostats of the oceans we might get a clearer picture of the problems that are appearing in our seas. It would require research to discover where the most sensitive plants and creatures are located. Those would be the first line of information and studies will be conducted for the improvement of the marine life. It’s what I call a barometer of change.
If you love the sea and concerned about the marine life’s welfare, see www.coral-reef.expert-answers.net and www.divingmaster.com.
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