A to Z of Destinations
Australia, NZ and South Pacific
A to Z of Experiences
Walking and trekking
Diving and snorkelling
Wildlife and safaris
Meet the locals
Frontier and expedition
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Visiting the Poles
Career breaks and BIG trips
Body and soul
Volunteer and conservation
Australia, East Coast
Everest Base Camp
Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railway
Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights
Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
10th September 2012
The Caribbean's coral reefs are 'under serious threat'; a recent study has reported the percentage of live coral is currently less than 10%
A report compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) co-ordinated by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network has warned that the state of the Caribbean's coral reefs is 'critical'.
Conservationists have warned that with so little growth of live coral, the reefs are in danger of utter devastation unless urgent action is taken. The decline has been rapid; a newly completed survey shows just 8% coral cover, compared to more than 50% in the 1970s. The drastic loss is being blamed on over-exploitation from the fishing and tourism industries, pollution and climate change.
Carl Gustaf Lundin, director of the global marine and polar programme at the IUCN, which published the research, said: "The major causes of coral decline are well known […]. Looking forward, there is an urgent need to immediately and drastically reduce all human impacts [if coral reefs] are to survive in the decades to come."
The situation in the Netherlands Antilles, Cayman Islands and a few other more remote islands is slightly less severe, with up to 30% coverage of live coral still remaining. These reefs are in areas less exposed to human impact and natural disasters.
Last year scientists from the World Resources Institute predicted that by 2050 virtually all of the world's coral reefs would be in danger. It was estimated that 75% of the Caribbean's coral reefs were in danger, along with 95% of those in South-East Asia.
Diving and snorkelling around coral reefs are popular adventure travel activities, and provide valuable income to coastal communities.
To stay safe and help protect reefs for the future:
1. Remember that coral is alive; don't step on or touch it and avoid stirring up sediment nearby.
2. Don't disturb or harass marine life.
3. Don't remove marine life from its natural habitat or shells, and don't buy souvenirs made from coral.
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login or get more from Wanderlust - register today!
Diving and snorkelling travel guide, top diving and snorkelling experiences, tips for diving and snorkelling, where to go and diving and snorkelling tips
From recurring boils to worms that crawl over your eyeballs, the world is full of unusual and downright horrifying ailments. Dr Jane Wilson-Howarth introduces a few…
Forget Mandalay, never mind Bagan – for a real Burmese adventure, head south to meet the ‘sea gypsies’ of the wild, undiscovered Myeik Archipelago
Why fly between Panama and Colombia when you could explore the islands and coral reefs of San Blas, says Thomas Rees
Located near Pylos in the south-western Peloponnese, the two parks will allow visitors to explore ancient shipwrecks and underwater archaeology
The Philippines' Department for Tourism is encouraging travellers to keep visiting the islands, large parts of which remain undamaged by Typhoon Haiyan
A new report claims the world's oceans are deteriorating even faster than previously suggested
Simply select the destination you’re interested in or the activities you’re looking
for and we’ll send your request to a select panel of tour operators.
Each operator will respond to your request individually. Your details remain private
and are not disclosed to any partners unless you decide to proceed with a booking.
Join the very first Wildfjords Trail and save up to £475/person
SAVE 20% with The Altitude Centre
Travel by coach for just £9!
Wanderlust sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web
exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!
I have read and agree to the Terms &
Where in the world are you? Add
#wanderlustmag to your tweets and share your latest travel adventures with
fellow Wanderlusters on wanderlust.co.uk
Get to know Wanderlust on facebook and bring all your travel-minded friends, too