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Save the Indonesian Coral Reefs





According to UN Environment Program World Conservation Monitoring Center World Atlas of Coral Reefs, the archipelagic nation of Indonesia in 2001 had 51.020 square kilometers of coral reefs or 17.95 percent of the world coral reefs.

Indonesia is on top of the list followed by :

Australia with 48.460 square kilometers,
The Philippines with 25.060 square kilometers,
France with 14.280 square kilometers,
Papua New Guinea with 13.840 square kilometers,
Fiji with 10.020 square kilometers,
Maldives with 8.920 square kilometers,
Saudi Arabia with 6.660 square kilometers,
Marshall Islands with 6.110 square kilometers,
India with 5.790 square kilometers.

Indonesia and the other above mentioned countries have great benefits from their coral reef biodiversity, because coral reefs are evidently the source of food and income for a lot of people through such activities as fisheries and tourism and also sources of raw materials for medicines, said the UN body.

They also serve as shoreline protection.

The coral reefs underwater structures, the colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters containing few nutrients. They are most commonly found at shallow depths in tropical water, particularly in Pacific Ocean.

The “ rainforest of the sea”, coral reefs form some of the most diverse ecosystem on earth, they have global enormous economic value. They occupy less than 1% of world ocean surface but they provide a home for 25 % of all marine species.

The coral reef fragile ecosystem must be rescued from threats of blast fishing, climate change, ocean acidification, cyanide fishing, over use of reef resources etc.





Stop blast fishing

The UN body has issued a warning that human activities such as blast fishing are seriously degrading coral reefs in various parts of the world including in Indonesia which has practiced since World War II.

According to scientific research in 1999, the blast fishing was chosen by certain local fishermen because it was “ an easy and profitable way to catch whole schools of reef fish”. It has to be noted that blast fishing is seriously threatening the coral reef ecosystem and would eventually spell the end of coral fisheries.

Although the government of Indonesia has officially banned blast fishing, this destructive fishing method continues to be used by certain fishermen in several places of the country. This practice must be stopped as it endangers the preservation of coral reefs biodiversity and harmful to eco tourism.


Arie Suryo 
Sources of information : Coral Reef Indonesia