The threats are destructive fishing with dynamite, poisons and bottom trawling, building projects in coastal areas, runoff from deforestation, agriculture and cities, and surely climate change and the acidification of the oceans. Ocean acidification is an even more immediate threat to cold water coral reefs, as cold water absorbs more CO2. Warmer water leads to coral bleaching which can result in death if unchecked. In Norway about 30 – 50 percent of our coral reefs are destroyed by bottom trawling.
If drastic measures are not taken soon the report concludes that our descendants will have no possibility to experience intact coral reefs by year 2050. The knock-on effects for the rest of the web of life within our biosphere go far beyond human food and economic needs however.
Download the report Reefs at Risk Revisited.