How Plastics Affect Coral Reefs

It won’t come as a surprise to you that plastics are terrible for the ocean environment. According to the UN Environment, between 60% and 80% of the trash in the ocean is plastic and it’s affecting over 800 marine species. There’s a lot of talk about the harm these plastics are doing to the oceans generally… but what about coral reefs, specifically?

If you’ve read Reef-World’s “Introduction to coral reefs,” you’ll know the coral animal is very sensitive and is facing many threats. But what about plastic? Here’s a quick look at the findings of a recent study published in the journal Science (Lamb et. al. 2018) which explores what threat plastic pollution poses coral reefs.

The study looked at 159 different reefs in the Asia-Pacific region over four years and found that in waters where they saw high amounts of plastic, the coral didn’t seem to be healthy.

Read more ate Green Fins.

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