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Introduction | Identification | Impacts | Causes | Actions | More Info
|What are some of the biological and physical impacts to coral reefs?|
Cyanide solution used to capture large reef fish and ornamental fish have been found to be lethal to other reef organisms including corals, smaller reef fish, and invertebrates (Pet-Soede and Erdmann 1998). Loss of coral reef habitat may result from either the cyanide itself or the breaking of corals by fishers. In addition, reef species that are targeted by the live food fish or the ornamental trades may also be overharvested. All these factors combined may ultimately lead to losses in species diversity.
Can coral reef damage also impact local communities and economies?
As the health of local reefs decline due to the use of cyanide and the practices associated with poison fishing, the ability of these reefs to continue to provide food and livelihoods to local communities also declines. Exposure to cyanide can also cause skin rashes and other health problems. In addition, diving-related injuries associated with the use of hookah compressors are occurring more frequently and resulting in paralysis and in some cases, death. Hookah compressors are used to enable divers to dive deeper and for longer periods of time and are considered a key factor in cyanide fishing practices (Komodo National Park website).
Degraded coral reefs may also effect local tourism industries. Unhealthy reefs are less attractive to tourists who wish to dive and snorkel in areas where many colorful reef species can be viewed. If these species are harvested too heavily, local reefs and communities will be less desirable as a tourist destination.
|A hookah diver gathering aquarium fish.
Location: Batangas, Sombrero Island, Philippines
Photo by: P.E. Ziegler
(from ReefBase: http://www.reefbase.org)|