Saving the world’s oceans – Metro US

Saving the world’s oceans

The acute decaying health of the world’s oceans surfaced in a report by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean in June. Metro met Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of legendary filmmaker and marine biologist Jacques Cousteau, in London to discuss the future of our coral reefs.

What is the future of the coral reefs?

A recent report cited coral reefs as one of the indicators of the general decline in ocean health.

By some estimates we’ve lost already about 25 per cent of the world’s coral reefs. And further estimates suggest that over the next few decades we’ll lose another 25 per cent.

What will happen if we lose the coral reefs?

A tremendous amount of seafood either has its origins in, or is related to, coral reef ecosystems and a lot of people rely on them, especially developing nations.

If the coral reefs had been healthy along the coastlines in South East Asia, the damage of the tsunami would have been greatly reduced.

Protecting nature for nature’s sake isn’t always enough justification for everybody in the world; it ought to be, but there are real human issues here as well, so corals are very important.

Why is the health of the coral reefs declining?

Coral is coloured because of an algae living inside it. As oceanic temperature rises, which is happening all over the world, the algae leaves and the coral can’t survive. If corals are dying, it means that throughout the oceans something is wrong. It’s a great indicator of pollution.

How does coral gardening work?

The corals are taken out of the ocean and put under lamps and given perfectly clean water and perfect temperatures, just like you would in a nursery with a tree or a plant or flowers.

What can we do as individuals to save the seas?

Buy environmentally-friendly cleaning products, detergents, soaps, and use them as little as possible. Eat less meat, more local and seasonal produce. Use organic cotton and public transport. Every person in the world has power to make the world a better place.

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