The coral reef is a structure, made up of calcium carbonate secreted by corals. It’s a beautiful labor of nature that takes many years to construct a Habitat for millions of species that live in water. This seems fascinating but nightmare has become real when scientist recently told that Coral Reefs are on the verge of extinction. Environmental hazards impacted so many ecosystems i.e. water bodies, underground water banks and now even Coral Reefs. Great Barrier Reef is a significant one, Qatar also has a big one.
Pakistan is among one of the luckiest countries that possess coasts. Also an island in Balochistan, the Astola was reported as an amazing place to visit and it possesses unharmed and safe coral Reef. Coastal countries commercially use corals as herbal medicines and for other purposes but in Pakistan, people are unaware of the beauty and importance of Corals. Another reason for that island to be safe is that it is majorly unpopulated and has very less tourism. As tourism impacts the Coral Reef majorly.
It takes 100 years for a Coral to grow an inch. Like all natural resources, Corals are also an irreversible natural resource. If damaged once, it will be impossible to recover them back. Coral Reef provides a big proportion of Oxygen to the environment and we should keep a safe eye on their losses and damages to protect our environment. Because if one life form disturbs the others will also be get affected. Corals are actually filter feeder organisms that filter rock fragments around themselves and get calcium from the water to secrete its calcium carbonate shell. The living organism in the Coral is called polyp. Millions of Polyps reunite to form a massive structure that we know as a coral reef. Hundreds of years passed and the dead corals accumulate in the water and form this amazing natural habitat that serves the life for centuries. But unfortunately, water pollution, plastic pollution and losses to water bodies through evaporation due to extreme temperatures are destructing these delicate beautiful creatures. It is estimated that after approximately 25 years, nearly all the Coral Reef of the world will be extinct.
Dr. Tahir Qureshi, a marine ecologist working for International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reported that there are no threats to coral reefs on the Pakistan coast while talking to The News. Qureshi pointed out that scientists have recently discovered coral reefs at Churna (near Karachi coast), Astola Island, Pasni and near Jevani in Balochistan. Analysing the geographical location of coral reefs, Qureshi said that there is neither an increase in pollution nor any development activity has found there to affect these reefs.
He said that teachers and researchers from foreign institutes still visit coasts of Pakistan frequently to ascertain whether there are any impact of sea rise, pollution and development activities on coral reefs. Therefore, he said, it is the need of the hour to make a quick assessment in this regard. Currently, however, there is no direct scientific evidence found to suggest that global warming is threatening corals life.
Contributed by: Sidra Munir
Member Positive Pakistan