Coral Sea, east of the Great Barrier Reef in the Pacific Ocean, is one
of the few places in the world where large fish such as sharks, tuna,
and billfish, still abound in large numbers. Its diverse range of
habitats are formed by 30 separate coral reefs that are different from
those of the Great Barrier Reef, with many of the inhabitant species
still to be discovered.
Recently, however, this sea has become
one of countless other major coral reefs worldwide falling victim to
coral bleaching, in which they are destroyed by ocean temperatures
reaching record high levels.
In locations around the globe,
experts are reporting coral bleaching this year as the worst since 1998,
when a similar event caused 16% of the world’s coral reefs to perish.
In Thailand’s waters, up to 90% of the reefs have been bleached and 20%
have already died. Meanwhile, places like the Coral Sea face another
global warming-related threat in increased levels of carbon dioxide that
are acidifying the waters.
Marine Biologist Nicola Temple of
the Australian Marine Conservation Society, a group that is working to
protect the Coral Sea from these threats, spoke about the problem during
a recent event to raise public awareness and support.Nicola Temple – Marine biologist, Australian Marine Conservation Society (F):
The pH has remained stable for millions of years, and its changing at a rate that is unbelievable in the last 150 years.
it’s going to essentially disintegrate our coral reefs. All of the
animals and organisms that sequester carbon into their skeletons and
into their shells are not going to be able to do so – including the very
oxygen producers that we rely so heavily on.
VOICE: Ms. Temple
urged for two main ways to reduce these devastating impacts, emphasizing
the invaluable role of oceans in our own lives.Nicola Temple (F):
drive our climate, and our weather. They are responsible for producing
the oxygen – one in every two breaths we take. One of the things we can
do that’s within our power immediately is, of course, to reduce our
footprint, to reduce our carbon emissions. And that’s something that’s
essential and has to happen in conjunction with trying to protect what
we can while we still have it.
So large marine reserves that
protect a huge percentage of the population will instill some resilience
into the ecosystems so that they can have a better chance at fighting
things such as global climate change.
VOICE: Our thanks, Ms.
Temple and the Australian Marine Conservation Society for your endeavors
to protect the precious Coral Sea and our planet. May we each do our
part to reduce our environmental impact by taking action to preserve our
vital oceans.Nicola Temple (F):
Hi, my name is Nicola Temple. I’m the Coral Sea campaigner for the
Australian Marine Conservation Society. Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the
Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently urged for our
conservation of the oceans and the lives they sustain, as during a May
2009 videoconference in Togo.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Balanced
marine ecosystems are extremely important, as more than two-thirds of
the planet is covered by oceans. They provide half of the world’s oxygen
and play a major part in regulating the global climate. http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/malaysia-closes-top-diving-sites-due-to-coral-bleaching-20100723-10o22.htmlhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7896403/Coral-reefs-suffer-mass-bleaching.html
So, life on
Earth truly depends very much on the ocean for survival. In addition,
oceans also absorb atmospheric CO2 – carbon dioxide – which directly
helps to cool our planet.
From the oceans themselves, we are
seeing warming temperatures, rising sea levels, increasing acidification
and terrible levels of pollution. So global warming is affecting the
oceans, which in turn is affecting the fish.
This is an equally
urgent situation as the one presented by livestock industry, and it has
the exact same solution. Stop eating the flesh; stop killing for food;
stop eating the fish. This will help restore the balance of both the
ocean and land, immediately.