The Mesoamerican Reef

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The Mesoamerican Reef. And its severe threats. By:Christopher Godoy. The Reef. The world second largest coral reef. Largest reef system in the Western Hemisphere. About 225 million years old. The reef acts as a natural barrier for storms and hurricanes. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Mesoamerican Reef

The Mesoamerican ReefAnd its severe threats. By:Christopher Godoy

The Reef The world second largest coral reef.Largest reef system in the Western Hemisphere.About 225 million years old.The reef acts as a natural barrier for storms and hurricanes.The reef is a necessity for several plants and fish in order to survive.

The Bio-DiversityThe Mesoamerican Coral Reef is home to a great diversity of marine animals.60 coral species, 350 mollusk and 500 fish species can be found throughout this majestic habitat.Ranges from sponges to green sea turtles to bottle nosed dolphins and many more

The Threats of the ReefResearchers say 40% of the coral reef has already been damaged.The reef suffers from many different aspects including;Climate changeFishingAquaculture AgricultureTourismShipping

Climate ChangeThe increase in temperature (2-3 F) warms the water around the reef, causing coral bleaching.Coral Bleaching kills algae which is essential for the corals main food source.Bleaching also damages the reef its self which threatens the many species of marine animals living throughout the diverse network of coral.

Climate ChangeWith the event of climate change, weather has become more unpredictable and more intense. More stronger and frequent storms have lead to severe damage in the Mesoamerican Reef, because reefs absorb 6 times the energy produced in waves. FishingThe extent of overfishing by businesses and citizens has lead to a sharp decrease of lobster, conch, and finfish in the Mesoamerican reef.The amount of fishing has effected the ecologic equilibrium of the Coral Reefs.Fishing in the Mesoamerican reef has also lead to pollution created by sediment from construction and boat traffic. Plans to HelpThe main focus from the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) is to spread the news of the help the Mesoamerican reef needs.The WWF wishes to obtain more workers who have high degree of knowledge for this eco-system and dedicated them simply for this one major habitat. In 1997, to maintain the coral reefs natural state WWF and the governments of Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala created the eco-region conservation plan to help control the amount of fishing and other un-natural aspects that can harm the vast habitat.

Plans to HelpVillagers on the costal regions of the Mesoamerican reef believe that more responsible fisheries management and stricter control of off-season fishing regulations and illegal fishing are needed to reduce the destruction of the reef system.To reduce the amount of overfishing, new lobster cages have been created to allow smaller lobsters to escape and mature, and thus decrease the amount of wasted lobsters each year.TNC (The Nature Conservancy) plan to create a network of sanctuaries in order to allow the coral reef to thrive and allow the species to re-populate.

WWF in the Mesoamerican ReefA short video of Sylvia Marin explaining her research and work on the habitat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PcSeWfvs4gBibliographyhttp://www.reefresilience.org/Toolkit_Coral/C8_MAR.htmlhttp://www.worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework/mesoamericanreef/index.htmlhttp://central-america.panda.org/about/countries/honduras/?uNewsID=74900http://central-america.panda.org/about/countries/nicaragua/?uNewsID=70840

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