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Coral reefs


Brief presentation on Coral Reefs in the context of CXC CAPE Caribbean Studies 2013

Brief presentation on Coral Reefs in the context of CXC CAPE Caribbean Studies 2013

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  • 1. What are coral reefs?•Underwater structures made from calciumcarbonate (limestone) secreted by coralpolyps•Marine eco-systems
  • 2. Barrier ReefsBelize Barrier Reef is the largest barrier reef in thewestern hemisphere at 220 km in length and runs from theYucatan (southern Mexico) to the Gulf of Honduras. “The most remarkable reef in the West Indies” – Charles Darwin, 1842
  • 3. AtollsCoral island(s) that circles a lagoon The Great Big Hole, Belize
  • 4. Fringe Reefs The Greater Caribbean region is heavily dominated by fringing reefs. In many cases these are extensive and well developed. Eg. those that parallel much of the coast of Cuba, and the east coasts of Andros Island and Eleuthera in The Bahamas. Fringing reefs also encircle most of the smaller islands of the Caribbean region such as Aruba, Bonaire, Antigua, and the Cayman Islands.
  • 5. Buccoo Reef, Tobago
  • 6. Destruction of Coral ReefsOver the last 30 years, Caribbean coral reefs have suffered enormous declines.• Overdevelopment of coastal areas (land settlement)• Declines in water quality (Pollution)• Destructive Fishing Practices (Cyanide fishing, Overfishing, Blast fishing)• Careless Tourism• Ocean Warming and Coral Bleaching (CO2 causes stress and “algae vomit”)• Ozone Depletion (Corals need sun block?)
  • 7. Coral Reefs and Society & Culture Why should we care?Coastal Protection – Reefs fend off hurricanes!Sustainability of Fishing IndustryRecreation & TourismHeritageScience & Research
  • 8. CXC CAPE CARIBBEAN STUDIES 2009 Paper 2 Q1 Explain three measures that Caribbean“ can implement to minimize thecountries ”danger posed to coral reefs the region.
  • 9. Answer• “Coral reefs are an integral part of the ecology of the Caribbean and the identity of the region.”• Examples of the dangers posed to coral reefsMeasures to minimize these dangers: • Education – fisher folk, hoteliers, citizens, tourists • Official Intervention - Creation of marine-protected areas • Official Intervention - Laws against damage, criminalization • Official Intervention - Authorities to protect reefs • Adoption of a regional approach, central policy
  • 10. Salomons Atoll, Chagos Archipeligo, Belize The Chagos Archipelago was declared theworlds largest marine reserve in April 2010 with an area of 250,000 square miles.
  • 11. As of 2008, there are about 500 MarineProtected Areas (MPAs) in the region.Coral Reefs are the best represented.
  • 12. More...Caribbean Studies for CAPE Examinations - Jennifer Mohammed