Impending death threat on coral reefs

Impending death threat on coral reefs

BY Tiya Chatterji 24. OCT.2019

Global warming has taken an alarming turn of events yet again. The Union Environment Ministry confirmed the mortality of corals around India from increased bleaching. According to a 16-year study conducted (2003-2019) by the pan-India wildlife research body Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) it was recorded that coral reefs in the Lakshadweep Islands were not only undergoing recurring bleaching, but are at the risk of widespread mortality.

These findings are known to be a result of rising sea surface temperatures. The reported findings are to be reported to the Union Environment Ministry and the state governments for a cohesive plan of action. The suggestions include coral transplantation and restoration measures including artificial reef building.

Corals can be damaged by two things – high turbidity in water and changes in temperature. They are formed by millions of tiny polyps along ocean floors, and are home to a vast range of marine biodiversity and are considered rainforests of the ocean as they harbor large amounts of carbon— an essential to reduce climate change. The Experts suggest all four major areas where coral reefs are found – Gulf of Kutch, Lakshadweep, Gulf of Mannar, and Andaman Islands as well as Angria Bank along Maharashtra are under threat.

Climate change is affecting every sector and is forcing all agencies to make changes in strategies for conservation. Coral protection is a priority. We are already working on coral transplantation and building artificial reefs,” said Mr.MS Negi, additional director general of forest (wildlife), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).