According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, “coral reefs are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth. They support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, including about 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard corals and hundreds of other species.”
As of today, scientists estimate that there may be as many as 8 million undiscovered organisms inhabiting only in and around coral reefs, and they have found through research that many of these organisms may hold the key to the cure of illnesses such as arthritis, different types of viruses and even cancer.
Due to these important discoveries, it is important to take the necessary measures to keep or reefs as healthy as possible.
Besides contributing to the local economy with as much as $375 billion per year through fishing trips, diving and snorkeling tours, they also provide job for millions of people all around the world.
Coral reefs are in many zones, the major source of food, and protection against extreme weather conditions. They protect the shoreline from strong waves and currents, as well as preventing coastal erosion.
Thanks to strong coral reef conservation programs that keep our reefs healthy, and to the efforts and respect of regulations of many anglers such as Captain Justin Hopper, Key Largo is now one of the best sport fishing destinations in the world.
Here are some things that you can do to help protect our coral reefs:
1. Don’t use chemical products on your lawn
You don’t have to live near a coral reef or the ocean to have a negative impact on it. All chemical products used to grow your lawn are harmful for the overall ocean’s health. Every time you use these products they flow into the water system and end up polluting the ocean and the marine life.
2. Conserve water
Conserving water in daily house chores will decrease the amount of wastewater that ends up in the ocean.
3. Reduce your use of plastic
One of the major problems we deal with nowadays, is the excessive use and disposal of plastics of any kind and all of them end up in the oceans. Plastic is not biodegradable but it is photo-degradable, which means that sunlight breaks it down to smaller pieces, these are known as micro-plastics. These absorb toxic chemicals such as DDT and PBC and many animals are confusing them with food, putting their lives at risk and eventually dying due to choking or by undigested pieces of plastic in their stomach.
4. Practice safe sport fishing
Coral reefs are a delicate ecosystem, when you schedule your sport fishing trip be sure they care about system and that they have the right equipment to know where to anchor the fishing charter boat.
These are only a few ways of helping coral reefs. As you can see, you don’t have to be a professional to conserve them and have a positive impact on this fragile ecosystem.
Give us a call if you want to book a sport fishing trip in Key Largo with a reef-friendly fishing company such as Fantastic II Charters. We would be happy to provide you with a fun experience without compromising the health of our reefs.