Biodiversity is all around us, in ways we can see and appreciate, as well as ways we can’t. Even urban citizens will be aware of the importance of trees. But few of us will either see the full glory of coral reefs or be aware of how deeply we depend on them.
Up to a billion people worldwide benefit on a daily basis from the revenue generation, protection and food security granted by coral reefs. Small island states and many developing countries are depending on coral reefs. Nearly 200 million people around the world make a living through fishing, with coral reef fisheries valued at USD6 billion and 6 million coral fishers. They contribute approximately USD30 billion to world GDP each year.
Corals are not only beautiful to look at but provide refuge and homes for thousands of other species. In fact, while coral reefs cover less than 1% of the ocean, they sustain 25% of all marine life. They provide, for example, nursery grounds for species that are of great commercial fishing importance.
Reefs may help us in other ways, and not just through their touristic appeal. They can for example provide medicinal compounds with potential uses in treatments for cancers, Alzheimer’s and numerous other diseases like arthritis and bacterial infections.
Click HERE to read more.