Coral Report

By: Tony Choukalas

Period 6

A major problem is happening and lots of people don't know it. The

reason why people don't know about it is because we don't see it. Plus people

don't know that they are doing it. People are destroying the coral in all the

waters of the world. Destroying the coral is a very bad thing to anything that

lives in the water. Coral provides shelter for small fish, and other things.

There are two things that make coral. Coral can be made like any other

animal. It grows by itself. Other kinds of coral are made by tiny little fish called

polyp. Inside the polyp are tiny algae, and these algae excrete tiny amounts of

limestone. This limestone collects together to form a type of coral.

There are so many things that we do that destroys coral. Most of it is

something that we can control. But not many people are doing anything about it.

Sedimentation is one danger that is hard to control. Any kind o

construction, mining, farming or logging near oceans will hurt the coral. As we

do any of those things dirt, silt and/or sand gets into the water and makes the

water cloudy and murky. When the water gets cloudy it cuts off the sunlight.

Coral need the sunlight to survive.

A big problem that affects more than just the coral is human run-off.

Fertilizers and sewage are dumped into waters and this can make algae grow at

a rapid rate. This chokes the polyps by cutting off the light and oxygen.

Fishing with explosives is one of the worst ways that coral is being

destroyed. Since we have started fishing and taking lots of fish from the waters

some places are over fished and there aren't any left or very few. The few fish

that haven't been caught hind in the coral. Fishermen make explosives that are

made from a common fertilizer and put them in the coral. They are then

detonated and totally destroys the coral and the dead fish are then scooped up.

There is something less destructive but still kills fish and the polyps.

Fishing fleets dump cyanide into the water to poison the fish. This method of

catching fish is mainly used in the tropical areas and recently for "live fish"

restaurants. Since this method was used in the Philippines, more than 400

thousand barrels of cyanide and other poisons have been dumped into the water

every year. Only 10% of their coral still remains healthy.

One that you or I would probably never would have thought of would be

that coral is used in construction. It is used for making materials in roads (very

few use it though). It is also sold as souvenirs. Even though not much coral is

sold as souvenirs or used in construction, it still contributes to the destruction of

coral.

Water pollution is a big killer to coral. Coral is hurt by just about anything

that is some kind of petroleum product, chemicals, or trash that is dumped in the

water. The chemicals and petroleum products can kill the polyps and blocks sun

from the coral. The trash that is thrown into the water gets caught in the coral

and can cause pieces to break off.

Since we have discovered the global warming problem scientist have

found that it is hurting the coral. It causes the coral to be bleached or turn white.

Bleaching is just another way of saying that it kills the coral. Plus global

warming also causes huge tropical storms that can crush the coral.

So far there aren't many ways to help the coral. People have tried to just

leave the coral alone and see if it would heal itself. But depending on the

amount of damage done determines whether the coral will come back.

Scientists are growing coral in their laboratories. Once the coral is at a point at

which the scientists think that is can be put in the ocean it is attached to a metal

board and placed in the ocean. Eventually the board will be covered up and the

coral will live a normal life. The problem with this, is that the coral doesn't grow

fast enough so it can be placed into the ocean. There would have to be lots and

lots of places in order to make it all.

Many organizations have tried to get the fishermen to stop using the

methods that they use right now. But they say that is the only way to get the

fish. The only reason why they have to use methods like using explosives is

because the places have been so over fished.

One other thing that others have done is take coral from other places that

can afford to miss some coral and put it where it is needed. Now this solution

has worked and still does work.

For my solution, I think we elaborate on the things that people are already

doing and add some other stuff to make it possible. In some parts of the world

the coral is doing pretty good on it's own so we should leave them alone unless

something starts happening to the coral. I think that the countries that already

have had a big loss of coral should put some money into either growing the coral

or getting it from somewhere else. Once the coral is put in there should be

restrictions on fishing, diving and other things that happen around that area.

We have to get the fishermen to stop using some of the fishing methods.

Maybe we give fishing companies that don't use these methods money. This

would an incentive so they wouldn't do it. Or the coastguard should check the

fishing boats before they leave so that there aren't any things that could harm

the coral.

With all the construction going on I say that there be people that go and

check up on the water and the construction that is going on. These people that

check up on the construction should a certain guide line on how much dirt

should be in the water.

For the souvenir coral is should be coral that is already dead and broken.

It has to be broken because fish and other sea life still use it for shelter. There

should be a couple of people that go with the divers that collect the coral. They

will be there to ensure that divers only collect dead, broken coral.

The coral should be protected otherwise lots of the animals that we see

today may not be there tomorrow.

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