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Coral reefs

  1. What are coral reefs? •Underwater structures made from calcium carbonate (limestone) secreted by coral polyps •Marine eco-systems
  2. Barrier Reefs Belize Barrier Reef is the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere at 220 km in length and runs from the Yucatan (southern Mexico) to the Gulf of Honduras. “The most remarkable reef in the West Indies” – Charles Darwin, 1842
  3. Atolls Coral island(s) that circles a lagoon The Great Big Hole, Belize
  4. Fringe Reefs The Greater Caribbean region is heavily dominated by fringing reefs. In many cases these are extensive and well developed. Eg. those that parallel much of the coast of Cuba, and the east coasts of Andros Island and Eleuthera in The Bahamas. Fringing reefs also encircle most of the smaller islands of the Caribbean region such as Aruba, Bonaire, Antigua, and the Cayman Islands.
  5. Buccoo Reef, Tobago
  6. Destruction of Coral Reefs Over the last 30 years, Caribbean coral reefs have suffered enormous declines. • Overdevelopment of coastal areas (land settlement) • Declines in water quality (Pollution) • Destructive Fishing Practices (Cyanide fishing, Overfishing, Blast fishing) • Careless Tourism • Ocean Warming and Coral Bleaching (CO2 causes stress and “algae vomit”) • Ozone Depletion (Corals need sun block?)
  7. Coral Reefs and Society & Culture Why should we care? Coastal Protection – Reefs fend off hurricanes! Sustainability of Fishing Industry Recreation & Tourism Heritage Science & Research
  8. CXC CAPE CARIBBEAN STUDIES 2009 Paper 2 Q1 Explain three measures that Caribbean “ can implement to minimize the countries ” danger posed to coral reefs the region.
  9. Answer • “Coral reefs are an integral part of the ecology of the Caribbean and the identity of the region.” • Examples of the dangers posed to coral reefs Measures to minimize these dangers: • Education – fisher folk, hoteliers, citizens, tourists • Official Intervention - Creation of marine-protected areas • Official Intervention - Laws against damage, criminalization • Official Intervention - Authorities to protect reefs • Adoption of a regional approach, central policy
  10. Salomons Atoll, Chagos Archipeligo, Belize The Chagos Archipelago was declared the world's largest marine reserve in April 2010 with an area of 250,000 square miles.
  11. As of 2008, there are about 500 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the region. Coral Reefs are the best represented.
  12. More... Caribbean Studies for CAPE Examinations - Jennifer Mohammed