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Coral bleaching: EPA recommends closing Charna Island

EPA prepared a report on coral bleaching at the island

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 17, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Dec 17, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Coral bleaching: EPA recommends closing Charna Island

Dead corals in shallow water at Charna Island. Photo: Khizer Sharif

The Balochistan’s Environment Protection Agency has recommended closing the Charna Island for divers, fishermen and boats because of coral bleaching.

The agency prepared its report on coral bleaching and requested the government to stop tourists, divers, fishermen and boatsmen from coming to the area. Some people anchor their boats at the island and cleaned them. This should be banned too, the report recommended.

The agency has asked permission to set up its monitoring station at the island. The island should be declared Marine Protected Area’, it said.

A Marine Protected Area is a clearly defined geographical space dedicated and managed through legal means to achieve long-term conservation of nature, the International Union for Conservation of Nature describes. Pakistan’s first Marine Protected Area was Astola Island.

Related: At Charna Island, one of Pakistan’s worst environmental threats yet

EPA Director Muhammad Khan said that a widescale survey needs to be conducted to study the effects and impact of coral bleaching in the area.

Coral bleaching is when colorful and vibrant coral turns white because of negative environmental conditions, such as warm sea temperatures.

According to the WWF, coral are bright and colourful because of microscopic algae called zooxanthellae. The zooxanthellae live within the coral in a mutually beneficial relationship, each helping the other survive. But because of climate change, the coral stresses out and expels the algae. As the algae leaves, the coral fades until it looks like it has been bleached.

Why should we care about coral bleaching?

The Earth is an ocean planet. Ocean plants produce up to 85% of oxygen we breathe. According to New York Times, coral reefs are the most biodiverse environments in the ocean.

Just like any other plant, coral produce oxygen for the ocean. Residing as deep as 100 feet in the sea, the ocean depends on coral to keep many species alive. According to one study, land plants can only produce about one-third of the oxygen we breathe while the rest is dependent on coral.

So, if coral becomes extinct, humans will lose one of their primary sources of oxygen.

Coral play a key role in the ecosystem as well. They have hundreds and thousands of species living around them. When a specie has a high biodiversity, it creates an environment where multiple species can coexist

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One Comment

  1. Tajwar  December 18, 2020 7:00 am/ Reply

    An informative article

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