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Boating Impacts
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Damage to coral reefs caused by boats and ships, and their discharges, is a significant problem in some areas. The careless deployment of anchors, moving anchor lines and chains , the discharge of sewage and other wastes, vessel groundings, and the disturbance of seafloor sediments are some of the threats posed to reefs by boats and shipping. In many areas of the world, anchor damage is one of the biggest direct threats to corals. The swinging or dragging of anchor lines and chains can smash coral heads and severely scars the reef (Johnson 2002). The severity of the damage is dependent on the size of the anchor and the frequency of the disturbance. The effects of waste discharges can also be a problem when boat numbers or the vessels are large. (see 'Nutrient Pollution' and 'Industrial Pollution' fact sheets.)
Corals are damaged regardless of anchor size. Location: Pangasinan, Bolinao, Philippines Photo by: J.W. McManus (from ReefBase: http://www.reefbase.org)
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