Coral in Caribbean, Florida in sharp decline, ‘no signs of slowing’
September 9, 2012 - 10:36 am | Category: World
Reefs in the Caribbean and Florida Keys have lost most of the colorful corals that feed a rich ecosystem and made the region a diving and snorkeling mecca, a major conservation group reported Friday. On average, reefs have live coral on just 8 percent of their surface area, down from more than 50 percent in the 1970s.
Impacts including warming seas and human sewage have contributed to a steady decline that shows “no signs of slowing,” the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said in releasing its report, which was based on new data compiled by 36 experts earlier this year.
The decline was not uniform, the IUCN noted, and those areas with less human impact fared better. “Corals declined precipitously on the Jamaican north coast in the 1980s … but not at Curacao and Bonaire where coral has more gently declined to about 25-30% today,” the IUCN said in the report.Article Source