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Why are coral reefs important?

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Distribution (5 marks) Coral reefs are distributed unevenly in the oceans. Most of the coral reefs are mainly located in the Pacific Ocean, near regions such as Australia, Indonesia and along the seas of China and Japan. There are also coral reefs located in the Caribbean, in the Atlantic Ocean. Small amount of coral reefs are also found near India, the Red Sea, which is in the Indian Ocean. Each continent has coral reefs located close to the shoreline, with the exception of Europe. The pattern is that coral reefs are located close to the equator and also close to the coastline (including island coastline). ...read more.


Without them, islands and coasts will quickly erode away into the ocean. * Coral reefs and the associated communities of sea grasses and mangroves are sensitive indicators of water quality and the ecological integrity of the ecosystem.therefore, the coral reefs can be monitored to identify changes in in water quality, such as temperature, salinity and chemical properties in order to help us to know how to protect our vital marine resources. * The coral reefs appear to be able to recover quickly from physical disturbance or temporary pollution events. The vast number of organisms living in the coral reefs provide help to keep many unwanted environmental changes from happening. ...read more.


* Coral reefs are considered as a tourist attraction, which in turn offers jobs and income for many people. (e.g. In the 1990s, over four million tourists visited the Florida Keys each year, contributing $1.2 billion annually to tourism-related services.) * As coral reefs acts like natural buffers, it offers shoreline protection especially for people who resides near the coast, as there properties could be well protected. * Coral reefs are important sources of new medicines which could help with the treatment of cancers and other diseases. Also it importance have also extended to areas such as nutritional supplements, pesticides, cosmetics and other commercial products. * Coral reefs are a source of raw materials in many parts of the world. * It is estimated that 2-2.5 million people around the world keep marine aquaria. ...read more.

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