旅行日期: 2016/08/26 07:00
We might have heard of the term “coral bleaching” in our biology lessons or came over with it on the Internet. Is coral bleaching just a theoretic phenomenon or something that is actually happening? We, Ocean Fighters are here to investigate the situation in Maldives.
If you plan to dive or snorkel in Maldives, you will never be disappointed by the astonishing aquatic lives there. There is not a single moment when you can’t see a fish, an underwater plant or a coral reef once you are immersed in the undersea world. However, as many may have observed, the coral in the ocean is not as colourful as those we saw in books or documentaries nowadays. Coral has a symbiotic relationship with an algae that live in its tissues. Algae provide coral with food and give colours to the coral. When coral is exposed to high water temperatures, pollutants or over solar irradiance, algae pull out of the coral tissues, causing the coral to become pale or white.
Coral bleaching is underway.
We’ve discussed the issue of coral bleaching with some divemasters and experienced divers while we were travelling to and from different dive spots. Local divemasters described that coral bleaching is happening all around Maldives. The underwater world no longer paints a full-colour artwork as the coral is decolourizing. An experienced diver, who started his diving journey 20 years ago, added that he has witnessed the severity of paling coral over the years, not only in Maldives but all around the globe.
We observed that the conditions of coral reefs vary in different places as we were diving and snorkelling in several areas in Maldives. Coral reefs in shallow waters are generally more prone to bleaching due to the increased exposure to sunlight. Despite that some coral reefs are still healthy with vibrant colours, the rising ocean temperature is affecting a notable number of lovely creatures in the sea. Global warming and coral bleaching are something that we cannot turn a deaf ear to.
Among the divers and tourists we’ve encountered in Maldives, some of them showed considerable awareness towards the problem of coral bleaching and they have already been promoting marine conservation. On the other hand, few of them have little knowledge on the matter. Fortunately, all of them became more alert to this environmental issue after knowing more about the causes of the problem and the current situation. They’ve also pledged to save the ocean and spread this important message to their friends and families.
The ocean needs us. Keep fighting!