Coral Reefs : Humans Environmental, Economical And Social Benefits

1056 Words Jul 30th, 2015 5 Pages
Introduction

Coral reefs offer humans environmental, economical and social benefits.1-2 Coral reef ecosystems are comparable to that of the tropical rainforests for their biodiversity and species richness.3 Due to coral’s global decline, monitoring of populations, threats to coral reefs and conservation efforts are essential. An artificial reef (AR) is the submersion of a physically stable structure underwater that demonstrates characteristics similar to natural reef systems, such as the capacity to host marine wildlife.4 ARs take various forms; Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) is an underwater museum that has been designed to act as an AR, while combining art and conservation.5 The purpose of MUSA is to reduce the pressure of tourism on the natural Mesoamerican coral reefs by providing an alternative attraction for tourists.5 In the past ARs have been utilised by fisherman to increase fishing stocks for commercial and recreational use.6 The use of ARs in this manner will not be discussed, as MUSA is located in a marine park, which is protected by environmental law and is not used for fishing. MUSA was created as a consequence of damage to reefs by SCUBA diving and snorkelling, however the national marine park insists on snorkelers wearing buoyancy aids, therefore snorkelers are unable to touch the reef consequently snorkeler’s opinions of ARs will not be focused upon.

For ARs to successfully substitute heavily used natural reef sites, they must be attractive to…

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