Social Impacts Due to the Depletion of Coral Reefs

Many devastating threats exist for the survival of the Earth’s coral reefs including the greatest threat being the negative social by-products of man himself. As a result of human mismanagement the oceans are suffering from global warming and increased sea temperature, higher carbon emissions, pollutions, organic and non-organic chemical and waste run off, over fishing, blast and chemical fishing, changes to the atmosphere, ultra violet light, acidification, coral mining, tourism, and much more are weakening and stressing the reef’s bio-diverse habitat and threatening all species world-wide.

Man is having a debilitating affect on sea life but needs continued eco-success in the coral reefs to survive. An estimated 500 million people make their living off the reefs and provide hundreds of billions of annual economic dollars worldwide. The down turn of this economic boom is that these largest living structures on the earth house more than a quarter of all the fish species on the planet and are fast becoming seriously endangered. The domino effect of overfishing touches every organism, plant and life all part of symbiotic relationships in the coral reef food chain. Although man feeds from the coral reef if this practice continues to be mismanaged or unchecked humans will have a deadly impact on the ocean ecosystem and not only to the coral reef food chain but also to economics of the human food chain.

The developing countries and their village poverty report hundreds of millions of people worldwide depending on their economic stability from the seas. Fishermen are using methods damaging the coral reefs but in turn making a living in order to feed their families. Encouraging the catch of fewer fish and the use ethical methods will be difficult as long as the world markets bring the need for these retail products. Equally devastating is the unethical live fish trade using poisonous chemicals and blasting and ripping apart reefs for ease of catch not only destroying these delicate eco-systems but eventually equally poisoning and starving the human food chain in the process.

The over exploiting and destruction of this diverse sea life treasure and possible key to human survival could cost humans the earth. The human’s lifestyle needs and their negative by-products are creating threats to the globe and to the seas, impacting the global food chain and it all circles back to directly affect man’s ability to self-sustain oneself on the planet Earth. Man must find a way for social economic sustainability while equally sustaining the coral reefs as the loss of the reef’s ecosystem will devastate many marine species but also economically devastate the many people making their livelihoods on the reef’s resources. The largest social impact on the depletion of the coral reefs could be the demise of man himself.