Millions depend on the ‘rainforests of the seas’ and we abuse them at our peril

We need our oceans, and our oceans need corals. But it’s not going well for them. Last week, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in the US announced that extremely hot oceans have triggered a global bleaching event spanning the tropical Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. Corals around the world are under a lot of stress. And we should care.

Corals are about much more than brightly coloured backdrops of tropical snorkelling holidays or the stage of films about cute little fish that need to be found (that’ll be Nemo, for those without children). Corals are vital to ocean ecosystems. Even though they cover only 0.1% of the ocean seabed, they are home to 25% of the species in the ocean. Coral reefs are often referred to as the rainforests of our seas and play as vital a role in this ecosystem.

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Source: Guardian Environment