Skip to main content

The Lockean Project

Coral reef threats

“Coral reef threats,” Monterey Herald—Jan. 8, 2023

Chief causes of ocean coral destruction are direct human impacts which include: water pollution impacts, mining of corals, dynamite fishing, ship scraping and collection for commercial uses. By contrast, thermal bleaching has been occurring for millions of years with climate oscillations and constitutes a much smaller source of damage, as well as a cause that is fundamentally not controllable over decades. If we really wish to protect the world’s corals, we can immediately take steps to reduce water pollution runoff from sewage and other sources; we can strictly enforce laws controlling the collecting of corals by divers; we can encourage international laws to prevent the mining of corals for construction materials (For example at China’s Hainan Island, 95% of corals have been completely destroyed by mining the reefs to produce concrete!). One can also observe that when oceans warm, there are actually new regions, previously too cold for corals, that become productive coral-growing areas.

— C. Michael Hogan, Monterey