Ocean News

75% of World’s Coral Reefs Threatened

23rd March 2011

Last month saw the release of "Reefs at Risk Revisited", the most detailed and comprehensive analysis yet of the state of the world’s coral reefs. There are some bright spots, but overall, the findings are grim:

"75 percent of the world’s coral reefs are currently threatened by local and global pressures. For the first time, the analysis includes threats from climate change, including warming seas and rising ocean acidification. The report shows that local pressures— such as overfishing, coastal development, and pollution— pose the most immediate and direct risks, threatening more than 60 percent of coral reefs today."

New in this report is a look at how ongoing reef degradation will impact countries that are dependent on economic benefits derived from coral reefs: providing food, sustaining livelihoods, supporting tourism, protecting coasts, and even helping to prevent disease. It identifies 27 of the most vulnerable nations with Haiti, Grenada, Philippines, Comoros, Vanuatu, Tanzania, Kiribati, Fiji, and Indonesia being at the top of the list.

If the pressures on reefs are left unchecked, more than 90 percent of reefs will be threatened by 2030 and nearly all reefs will be at risk by 2050. Read more at Reefs at Risk Revisited.