Coral Reef Analysis

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In their research article, Graham and Linda Forrester, Lianna Jarecki, and Rebecca Flynn explored the effects of an anchoring event on a coral reef at Crab Cove in the British Virgin Islands. With an increase in tourism, recreational boat traffic has increased and some boaters don’t think about where their anchor is going when they throw it overboard. On July 7th, 2004, a 50 meter vessel named the Holo-Kai anchored overnight on the reef. The heavy chains and three anchors used to hold the Holo-Kai in place caused damage to 1.5 hectares of the reef. Immediately after the anchor was pulled, divers could observe broken and overturned coral colonies, as well as badly damaged soft corals. The reef was then assessed and mapped out by divers so the …show more content…
Also, this form of human impact has almost no statistical data or studies done to back it up. Plenty of studies have been done about the effects of human pollution or global warming on reefs but very rarely are the studies about actual human impacts where a human or humans directly impacted a reef ecosystem. While it does not help cover the big picture of the coral reef crisis, global warming and pollution, this paper did address human impacts which have long been contributing to the coral reef crisis. Especially in areas of high tourism like the British Virgin Islands, it is important for people and captains of tourist vessels to be aware of their impacts. Touching the reef, littering while at the site, or haphazardly throwing the anchor damage reefs in such a way that if it continues, there won’t be reefs for tourists to visit any longer. One major takeaway that is very important to the reef crisis is the amount of damage done by just one night of anchoring. This one anchoring event mirrored 23 years of natural coral reef decline and the damage will forever impact that reef. If those numbers are published to the companies that take tourists out there, maybe the captain of the next large vessel will use one of the 200 yacht moorings that were installed rather than throwing the anchor into one of the islands most important

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