The Endangered Species: The Importance Of Coral Reefs

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Many species vie for protection under the Endangered Species Act. For those who have cuteness as their weapon, such as the Panda Bear, or the creatures that are cool, such as several species of shark, it is easier to make it to the list of the creatures Americans chose to protect. Though, being cuddly and cool, should not be factors that determine whether a species ought to be protected. Disregarding the intrinsic value that all living and non-living beings share, a species that Americans are obligated to protect need to fill an instrumental value as well. One organism, of an infinite number, that holds a strong instrumental value are the corals. Yet, to understand why corals should be listed as endangered (read: not threatened) is for a few particular points. Unlike some species on the list corals have the ability to fit into each category of specie types, keystone, indicator, umbrella, and flagstone species (Houtman et al, 2013). Due to this reason it is important for corals, of all …show more content…
Healthy reefs contribute to local economies through tourism. Diving tours, fishing trips, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses based near reef systems provide millions of jobs and contribute billions of dollars all over the world. Recent studies show that millions of people visit coral reefs in the Florida Keys every year. These reefs alone are estimated to have an asset value of $7.6 billion. The commercial value of U.S. fisheries from coral reefs is over $100 million. In addition, the annual value of reef-dependent recreational fisheries probably exceeds $100 million per year. In developing countries, coral reefs contribute about one-quarter of the total fish catch, providing critical food resources for tens of millions of people. Many drugs are now being developed from coral reef animals and plants as possible cures for cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections, viruses, and other

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