Interesting Facts about Coral Reef

Coral reefs are a phenomenon in Geography that is important from a conservation perspective. Read more about coral reefs for IAS exam in this article. You can also read other Geography notes for UPSC exam from our NCERT Notes segment.

Coral reefs are one among the beautiful natural phenomenon on the planet. They are regarded as a mesmerizing diverse ecosystem. Nowadays coral reefs are on the verge of extinction. An intergovernmental organization has already come up with many agreements and treaties to conserve the coral reefs. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program was established in 2000 by the Coral Reef Conservation Act to conserve, protect, and restore the coral reefs by sustaining a healthy ecosystem function.

Coral Reef Facts

  • Coral reefs are built by and made up of thousands of tiny animals called coral “polyps”
  • They are not plants. They are animals.
  • They are found all around the world in tropical and subtropical oceans.
  • They are usually found in shallow areas at a depth less than 150 feet. However, some coral reefs extend even deeper, up to about 450 feet.
  • They are second only to rainforests in biodiversity of species.
  • It covers less than 0.2% of the oceans but they contain 25% of the marine fish species of the world.
  • Some reef that is called a “barrier” reef gets its name since its presence guards the shallow waters along the shore from the open sea. That fortification promotes the survival of several kinds of sea plant and animal life.
  • The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, between 5000 and 10,000 years old is actually made up of 900 smaller reefs.
  • Coral reefs are very important to the fishing industry because they are the natural habitat of the bait fish which is used to fish for tuna and other large species.
  • Coral Reefs are where numerous fish and sea creatures choose to brood.
  • The microscopically small and massively abundant algae type life forms that live in the reef ecosystem are called Benthic Diatoms.
  • The areas where coral reefs grow helps the growth of sea grass which makes the seabed more stable.

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