19 Oct Coral Reefs in Indonesia About 36% Are in Poor Condition, How Do We Respond to This Situation?
The current condition of coral reefs in Indonesia, you could say, almost a third of them are in an appalling condition. This situation raises concerns about the future of the vast marine ecosystem, especially the coral reefs that serve as the home for many marine animals in Indonesia.
The condition of coral reefs in Indonesia is under threat, as reported by the LIPI News Agency, which conducted a survey in 1,067 locations stretching from Sabang to Merauke consisting of 17,000 islands.
36 percent of coral reefs are in poor condition, 34 percent are in adequate condition, 6.5 percent are in very good condition, and the rest are classified as good condition as revealed by LIPI scientists.
“Increasing anthropogenic factors and exploitation of coastal areas are the most influential factors on the current condition of coral reefs in Indonesia,” said Dr. Dirhamsyah, head of the oceanographic research institute from LIPI. Dirhamsyah also said that to preserve Indonesia’s marine life, greater public awareness is needed not to damage the surrounding environment.
Indonesia has one of the most extensive coral reef systems in the world and more people live near coral reef than anywhere else on the planet, according to the Coral Reef Alliance. They are also part of the Coral Triangle, the most diverse marine area on earth spanning six countries, including the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and the Solom Islands.
However, a number of threats are faced by this giant organism, including climate change caused by human behavior, fishing techniques that damage the environment, and the content of nutrients and chemicals from human activities and sedimentation.
After China, The Equatorial emerald state is the second largest contributor to marine waste, which dumps around 1.29 million tons of waste into the sea every year. Last month, the conservation group WWF warned that half of the world’s shallow-water coral reef, which support a quarter of all life in the oceans, were extinct.
If humanity is not able to push global warming levels to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, coral reef mortality is likely to have an impact of between 70-90 percent by the middle of this century, the United Nations warned in its recent report.
Therefore, we need a solution to overcome the extinction of coral reefs in our beloved country, Indonesia, so that living creatures in marine ecosystems have a place to live. However, before we discuss the solution, let’s take a peek at some information about the reefs itselves.
Coral reefs is a group of coral animals in symbiosis with a type of algae plant called zooxanthellae. The coral are included in the phylum Cnidaria class Anthozoa which have tentacles. The class Anthozoa consists of two subclasses namely Hexacorallia (or Zoantharia) and Octocorallia, both of which are distinguished by origin. Morphology and Physiology.
Coral reefs in general can be attributed to the physical structure and the accompanying ecosystem that actively forms calcium carbonate sediments due to biological (biogenic) activities that take place below the sea surface. For geologists, they are structures of sedimentary rocks of chalk (calcium carbonate) in the sea, or so-called short with reefs.
In the terminology of ‘reef’, in question is coral, a group of animals of the order Scleractinia which produce lime as the main reef-former. Reefs are limestone sedimentary rocks in the sea, which also include live coral and dead coral attached to the limestone. Lime sediment on reefs can come from coral or algae.
The giant organism generally live on the beach or areas that are still exposed to sunlight, approximately 50 m below sea level. Some types of the reefs can live deep in the sea and do not need light, but these coral reefs do not have a symbiotic relationship with zooxanhellae and do not form corals.
Most coral reef ecosystems are found in tropical waters, very sensitive to changes in their environment, especially temperature, salinity, sedimentation, eutrophication and require natural water quality (pristine). Likewise, changes in environmental temperature due to global warming that hit tropical waters in 1998 have caused coral bleaching, which was followed by mass mortality reaching 90-95%. During the bleaching event, the average water surface temperature in Indonesian waters was 2-3 °C above normal temperature.
They contain very large and varied benefits, both ecologically and economically. The estimated types of benefits contained can be identified into two, namely direct benefits and indirect. The benefits of coral reefs that can be directly utilized by humans are:
- As a place to live for fish that are much needed by humans in the food sector, such as grouper fish, baronang fish, yellow tail fish, els;
- To see the beauty of their shape and color;
- For the purpose of research and utilization of other aquatic biota contained there in.
Meanwhile, what is included in indirect use is as a barrier to coastal abrasion caused by waves and sea waves, as well as a source of biodiversity.
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Solution to Protect Coral Reefs
Reducing Environmental Damage
Practice general conservation.
Coral reefs will be damaged if the quality of the surrounding environment decreases. So, we can help protect them only by maintaining a lifestyle that preserves the environment. Several things can be done, as follows:
– Planting trees. Trees help reduce the strong currents of water entering the sea because it can damage the reefs.
– Reducing carbon production. Increased carbon dioxide in the air can trigger global warming, which in turn will damage that giant organism. Everything is interrelated. Ways to reduce the carbon footprint in the form of avoiding using vehicles that run on oil and which can cause air pollution.
– Save the use of water.
– Using organic fertilizers to avoid chemical substances entering the ecosystem. Don’t think the chemicals in your garden or plantation won’t go into the ocean just because you don’t live near the ocean.
Avoid setting up construction and construction sites near offshore.
Some coral reefs are located close to the coast. They can be damaged by various aspects of land development and construction, including construction of marinas, ports, and plowing of land. Why does this damage them?
– When sediments and sediments slide due to construction and construction and end up in the ocean, this can block sunlight and kill reefs, because reefs need sunlight to grow and thrive.
– Sediment can bury the reef, killing it or stopping its growth altogether.
Against Global warming
The general deterioration of the environmental situation is an indirect way of human action causing damage to the reefs. They are very sensitive to rising water temperatures, which can be damaging. Reducing carbon footprint also helps stop global warming.
Educating the Community about Coral Reefs
Boycott destructive fishing methods
If you eat fish caught by destroying the environment, you are part of the problem. Not using products obtained from environmentally destructive activities is one way to help protect the organism. Know which fish are caught by damaging the reef. For your Information!
– In some countries, people blow up the reefs with explosives to make it easier to catch fish that gather around them. Then they sell the fish to restaurants and shops.
– Do not eat fish caught by seabed trawling. This trawling method is so destructive that it destroys the reefs that would otherwise live for thousands of years in the depths of the ocean. One example of a fish that is sometimes caught in a seabed trawl, usually a rough orange color.
Help organizations dedicated to protecting coral reefs
There are many organizations working hard to stop the destruction of coral reefs. Some even build artificial coral reefs to replace those damaged or destroyed, for example: The Coral Reef Alliance, Reef Relief, and the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation are some examples of private organizations working to save coral reefs. These organizations, and many others like it, offer a variety of ways for the world’s civilians to get involved.
Support efforts to protect coral reefs.
The existence of legal mechanisms that protect coral reefs is very important. We must support efforts to ensure the maximum possible protection of coral reefs. For example, creating protected marine areas is one way of making a difference.
Do not fish or sail near the coral reefs.
Contact with anchors and fishing nets will inevitably cause coral reefs to die or be damaged. There are several ways that fishermen can do when doing their work and not damage the coral reef, namely
– Do not anchor the boat on coral reefs. Anchor the ship in a shallow area under the sand.
– Make sure the location for fishing is not in a coral reef area, because nets, hooks, fishing rods, etc. can damage these organisms.
– Do not dump the waste from your ship into the ocean. Find the correct waste disposal facility in the area.
Do not litter on the beach or sea.
Disposing of objects such as fishing nets or general trash on the beach can damage the reefs. Throwing garbage into the sea also ultimately makes the garbage stuck in the reefs.
– Trash trapped will suffocate reefs. Remember that they are living things. Sometimes people equate reefs with sea shells. However, because reefs are living things, they are easily injured.
– Disposing of garbage indiscriminately can also damage or even kill the fish that inhabit coral reefs. The technical term for this type of waste is “marine debris”. Marine debris also damages other organisms on coral reefs, which are essential for their survival.