Coral reefs have major threats from a couple sides. First, climate change: ocean acidification from higher CO2 levels and coral bleaching from warmer sea temperatures are both killing coral. Second, pollution: the oil spills, waste and sewage dumping (from coastal communities and boats), agrochemicals are all responsible for hurting the coral reefs. Third, fishing: bottom trawling greatly harms coral reefs and overfishing removes an important element of the ecosystem, disrupting the food chain and negatively impacting the coral. Next, tourism: people hit coral all the time, in boats, with flippers, and sometimes they collect it.
Coral reefs are in big trouble. I can’t tell you which of these is the biggest threat. If climate change continues, ocean acidification and warmer sea levels could be the final straw for the coral but pollution, overshfishing and tourism have been hurting the coral for a long time and has had long-term and long-lasting impacts.
Long story short, the biggest threat to coral reefs are people.
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