Coral reefs are part of the foundation of the ocean food chain. Nearly half of the fish the world eats make their homes around them. Hundred of millions of people worldwide depend on them for their food.
If the reefs vanish, experts say, hunger, poverty and political instability could ensue.
Whole nations will be threatened in terms of their existence.
Numerous studies predict coral reefs are headed for extinction worldwide, largely because of global warming, pollution and coastal developement, but also because of damage from bottom-dragging fishing boats and the international trade in jewelry and ornaments made of coral.
If the reefs die-off fish will become a luxury food item. We alrerady have a billion people facing hunger, and this would just aggrevate the system. The economic damage would be enormous.
Most of this information comes from 'The Honolulu Advertiser', Friday, March 26, 2010
Pictures by Leni Riefenstahl