Last 30 years have witnessed the dying of about 50 percent of coral reefs and remaining will follow within the end of the next century. By Quoyina Ghosh
Occupying less than 0.1% of the world’s ocean surface, coral reefs, ‘the rainforests of the sea’ are known to house over 25% of all marine species. Yes, that’s how brilliant coral reefs are. They are known to form an incredibly sensitive underwater ecosystem upon which depends a large portion of the co-habitants of our planet. Most commonly known to bloom beautifully in shallow waters, cold water reefs along with deep sea reefs exist as well. However, like most things belonging intrinsically to nature, this too is now under grave danger due to the callous actions of man.
A fundamental law of our world is that every action sets off a chain of reactions. The same will be seen in multiple forms when and if the coral reefs were to die. Like, a toppling domino, we’d see the various lives directly and indirectly related to it getting affected.
The death of coral reefs would lead to devastating effects on millions of marine lives. An immediate disparity would be apparent in the food chain that’s essential for a thriving environment. The health of the ocean would suffer tremendously. People will also suffer physically, environmentally and economically.
Fishing industry will be affected as the marine life earlier supported by corals would now be on decline. Moreover, as the food source earlier supported by corals would cease to exist, the human population, dependent on it for nourishment, would also be affected. What’s more? One of the most popular pulls of various locations are the coral reefs it boasts of. This is a massive economical amenity, which would instantly disappear the moment corals cease to exist. On a wider level, more than 80% of the air we breathe is created in the oceans. If the health of the ocean is affected inversely, it will catch up with us in the due course of time.
This hypothesis about a future without corals is best as it is — a hypothesis. The transformation of it into reality would lead to a terrifying collapse with far reaching consequences one can’t even fathom yet. What with the never ending hazardous surface run-offs, the water warming due to climate change and the over-fishing, etc., the delicate coral reefs are already nearing a perilous end.
The lack of initiative to pull up our socks and make for a better future will lead to the forming of an extremely dangerous one with lesser life and colour than before.