Coral Reef Conservation Essay

5499 Words22 Pages
Environmental Ethics 5 December 2011 An Ethical Perspective on Coral Reef Conservation As one of the most diverse, oldest, and largest marine ecosystems, coral reefs have immense worth and are responsible for much of the oceans’ biodiversity. However, coral reefs are facing more threats than ever that are putting them at risk for their continued existence. These threats stem from agricultural, biological, and industrial anthropogenic activities. Due to the negative effects that these activities have on coral reefs, change is necessary in order to alter the fate of the coral reef living systems. Two environmental ethics that can be utilized to provide principles for action toward protecting the coral reefs include the Christian environmental ethic as well the ecocentric environmental ethic. Several reasons mentioned below demonstrate how impressive coral reefs are as a ecosystem. Coral organisms, known as polyps, are tiny and soft-bodied, similar to anemones. They have a hard, protective skeleton called a calicle, which forms the coral reef structure. When these polyps attach to sea floor rocks, they multiply to create colonies. As this continues over many years, the colonies join together to make reefs. In addition, coral reefs attain their beautiful colors from the innumerable amount of zooxanthellae algae that live among the coral (Norse & Crowder 69). The coral reefs themselves are made up of both hard and soft coral and are home to the many forms of sea life such as fish, dolphins, crustaceans, sea turtles, and more. It is not surprising that the reefs are a host to so many inhabitants since they are the largest living structure on earth, home to twenty-five percent of all marine species. This is even more impressive since they cover less than one percent of the earth (The Nature Conservancy). The amount of life that depends on the coral reef habitat in

More about Coral Reef Conservation Essay

Open Document