The government has identified coral reef damage in more than 30% of Indonesia’s total area of coral reefs.
That value is equal to an area of 18,000 square kilometers. In addition to being caused by the excessive exploitation of natural resources.
Climate Change as a Cause
The coral reef damage is getting worse due to climate change. Over the past 50 years, the share of the decline in Indonesia’s coral reefs has increased to 50%.
The expanse of Indonesia’s coral reefs is 18% of the total area of the world’s coral reefs.
Various challenges in coral reef conservation include the demand to meet human needs for marine products.
This demand impacts the excessive use of coastal and marine resources, especially with climate change.
Climate change significantly impacts fishermen and fish migration patterns in coastal areas.
In addition, it also causes rising temperatures and sea levels and acidification of seawater, which directly affects the disruption of ecosystems supporting coral reefs.
As a living structure formed from the arrangement of calcium carbonate hundreds of years ago, the role of coral reefs is to support the stability of the surrounding ecosystem.
In addition, thousands of species live in coral reef areas, such as mollusks and crustaceans.
Causes of Coral Reef Damage
1. Illegal Extraction of Coral Reefs
The beauty of coral reefs can attract tourists to see them. But not infrequently, they steal the coral reefs to be used as accessories or decorations with economic value.
2. Development on the Coast
Besides being economically profitable, coastal development can cause coral reef damage. While making the building, land dredging and reclamation is required so that it can cause erosion.
3. Illegal Fishing
To get a large number of fish, the fishermen will do a variety of ways that can damage coral reefs. Usually, the fishermen will use trawlers, explosives, and cyanide poison.
4. Logging of Mangrove Forests
The function of mangrove forests is to prevent abrasion and water filters. If these forests are cut down, these two functions cannot work properly and can damage coral reefs and the ecosystems in them.
Excessive use of pesticides on agricultural land can contaminate seawater. In addition, it can pollute coral reefs and their ecosystems.
The Best Coral Reef Location in Indonesia
Of the approximately 800 complex coral species that have been identified in the world, 450 of them are found in Indonesia. Meanwhile, more than 2,400 species of reef fish live there.
1. Raja Ampat Islands Marine Park
Raja Ampat waters is the most beautiful sea in the world. One reason is the Raja Ampat Marine Park has the complete flora and fauna.
This area also has the best coral reef in Indonesia. It has more than 1000 types of reef fish, 700 mollusks, and many unique species.
These species include the Dwarf Sea Horse, Wobbegongs, and Manta Rays, as well as several fish typical of Raja Ampat, such as Eviota Raja.
2. Wakatobi National Park
This park’s location is in the district of Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi. Its area reaches 1.39 million hectares.
Wakatobi National Marine Park is often referred to as an underwater paradise because apart from being the center of the world’s coral reefs and is usually a marine tourism object for divers.
3. Alor Marine Park
Alor Marine Park is directly adjacent to Timor Leste. At the Indonesian Enchantment Award event, this place became Indonesia’s most famous dive point in 2016.
The underwater world of Alor has 50 diving spots spread over several islands, including those in the Pantar Strait.
Seeing the widespread of coral reef damage, we should think critically. It would be a shame if our natural potential, which is known to the world, is damaged due to economic exploitation.