I had never heard of the Coral Triangle until I saw that today is Coral Triangle Day so I knew I had to find out more info since I love coral reefs.

Here is what I found:

What is it?

  • It’s a marine region located in the Pacific Ocean (Southeast Asia)
  • It has a vast amount of biodiversity with at least 500 species of reef-building corals
  • 6 million square kilometers
  • It is known as ‘the Amazon of the ocean’
  • It occupies 1.5% of the world’s total ocean area but represents 30% of the world’s coral reefs
Coral Triangle facts | WWF
Credit to WWF

Where is it located?

  • It exists across 6 countries -> Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste

Biodiversity

  • The Coral Triangle has 15 regionally endemic coral species
  • It has more fish diversity than anywhere else in the entire world
  • 6 of the 7 marine turtle species are found in the Coral Triangle
  • Has the highest coral diversity in the world with 76% of the world’s coral species being found here
  • Home to blue whales, sperm whales, dolphins and dugongs

Related: 4 ways that we rely on coral reefs

Threats

  • Overfishing
  • Pollution (land-based as well from fertilisers, chemicals, agriculture. Additionally, sewage from human settlements can cause algae blooms)
  • Coastal development
  • Coral bleaching and ocean acidification
  • Climate change
  • Sea level rise
  • Tourism
  • Destructive fishing (using explosives which destroys habitats and ecosystems which the fish rely on)
  • Increased temperatures influence the sex of baby sea turtles which means that there are more females when the sea temp is warmer – turtles will become harder to reproduce and they are already endangered
  • Bycatch (millions of non-target fish species are accidentally caught)

Conservation efforts

  • The governments of the region have signed the Coral Triangle Initiative Regional Plan of Action in 2009 and have committed to conserving the regions marine wealth for sustainable use (includes more protected areas, especially with important habitats and existing protected areas to have better management)
  • The countries are working to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the region
  • In Papua New Guinea, WWF has started some mangrove nurseries which also protect coastlines from erosion and sea-level rise
  • In the Solomon Islands, WWF has helped a community produce a film about preparing for climate change
  • Bomb fishing and Cyanide fishing (stun fish by using poison and the coral is broken to retrieve the fish) is illegal
  • In the Philippines, Donsol Bay attracts whale sharks. This means that the locals can benefit from the tourism industry, WWF has helped create jobs within the whale shark tourism sector which provides a steady source of income for the community
  • WWF supports local partners who monitor and patrol MPAs (marine protected areas) and turtle nesting beaches
  • The WWF support mangrove reforestation (leads to the return of species, improved water quality and increased populations)
  • WWF works to create sustainable reef fish and tuna fisheries to help them achieve certification by the MSC (marine stewardship council)
  • The WWF support increased production of reef fish from sustainable aquaculture sources
  • WWF promotes the use of alternative fishing hooks which reduces bycatch (‘circle’ hooks have decreased bycatch in Papua New Guinea and fishermen like the new hooks more than traditional ones)
  • The CTI (coral triangle initiative) works with governments, communities and other stakeholders to help them achieve sustainable change (they are sharing knowledge, focussing on climate change adaption, facilitates lessons into management guidelines and develop management plans)
  • The Shell-supported Malampaya Foundation is empowering local communities to help conserve it

There are a lot of conservation projects which is amazing! I’ve studied coral reefs in my A-level subjects and have still never come across the Coral Triangle before which clearly shows that it needs to be talked about more. Saying that, I think it’s because the Great Barrier Reef has had a lot more damage to it than the Coral Triangle and maybe it hasn’t been in the media because conservationists want it to continue to be a stable (ish) reef

Best wishes, C x

Picture credit from my cover:

Some of my information was from:

https://coraltriangle.org/conservation/Conservation-CoralTriangle-Marine-Culture-Biodiversity-Fisheries.html

https://www.worldwildlife.org/places/coral-triangle

https://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/where_we_work/coraltriangle/coraltrianglefacts/

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/09/what-is-the-coral-triangle

https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/news/2018/march/why-the-coral-triangle-is-the-most-important-part-of-the-ocean.html

https://www.conservation.org/projects/coral-triangle-initiative

https://www.shell.com/sustainability/environment/biodiversity/life-below-water/conserving-the-coral-triangle.html

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6 Comments

  1. I didn’t know about the coral triangle either! Thanks for the blog!

  2. Louise says:

    This is so interesting, I’ve never heard of the coral triangle either despite it clearly being very important for biodiversity! More awareness needs to be raised about it.

    1. Agreed! 🙂 x

  3. […] week is coral reef awareness week! I’ve already done a post on the Coral Triangle so I was wondering what to do for this post but I’ve decided to talk about ways in which WE […]

  4. […] week is coral reef awareness week! I’ve already done a post on the Coral Triangle so I was wondering what to do for this post but I’ve decided to talk about ways in which WE […]

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