The Advantages of Coral Reefs for Human

1 January 2017

The Advantages of Coral Reef for Human Coral reefs are among the most ancient of earth`s natural wonders. It is because they are the most biologically diverse ecosystem on the planet. Coral reefs are second only to the great rain forest of the world. Coral reefs are aptly and often referred to as “rain forest of the sea”, because of the diversity marine creatures that llived in coral reef. Many people mistakenly think of coral reef as inanimate rock formations, however coral reefs are actually comprised of living creatures known as coral polyps.

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Coral reef has various species that produce unique types of coral structures with different colours and textures, such as soft,flexible sea fan, or the hard coral. The difference colour and structure of this, that make coral reefs look beautiful. Besides the beauty of it, coral reef also has many advantages for human. There are at least four advantages of coral reef for human : providing food for many species of fish, providing income from underwater tourism, being the sources of medicine by doing marine research, and providing protective barrier around many islands.

The first advantage of coral reef is providing food for many species of fish. As we already know coral reef is home for thousand species of marine creatures. For example, “The Great Barrier Reef” that located in Australia is home to more than 400 types of coral, which shelter more than 1. 500 species of fish and 4. 000 types of mollusks. It also serves as habitat for endangered species, such as the sea cow (dugong) and the large green sea turtle. Besides, it is home for thousand marine creatures, it also provides food for us (human).

Nowadays, many people like eating seafood such as fishs, shrimps, crabs, squids, lobsters, and clams. There are many kinds of marine creatures like fishes that can be made for food or dish. For example, salmon fish. Salmon fish is usually made for “sushi” or it becomes baked salmon. Japanese people usually make salmon fish to become sushi. Sushi is a Japanese food, consisting of cooked rice combined with raw seafood usually salmon fish, which is shaped into bite-size pieces and formed into a long seaweed-wrapped roll.

They usually eat sushi while it was still uncooked, but some people prefer to eat when it was already cooked. Another dish or food that is made from salmon fish is “sashimi”. Sashimi is the same with sushi, but the difference is that sashimi can be eaten without rice while sushi should be eaten with rice. Sashimi is a Japanese dish made of thinny slices of fresh raw fish. It can be made from salmon or another kind of slices of fish. Sashimi was usually served uncooked, but if you want to eat cooked salmon, the waittress will bring a small stove with the small pan, so you can boiled the salmon.

But before you eat your sashimi, it will be better if you dipped it into wasabi, so that your sashimi is safe to be eaten and free from bacteria that contained in uncooked salmon fish. Another example of kinds of seafood such as baked shrimps with butter sauce, fried squids with tiram sauce, spicy shrimp soup, tuna soup, shrimps salad with avocado, spicy crab soup, corn fritter with shrimp, and etc. The second advantage of coral reef is increasing national income from underwater tourism. Tourism is the biggest factor from the coral reefs.

Because with the beauty of coral reef, it can be a major interest for tourists to come see it. For example the coral reef that located in Carribean Sea. The coral reef from there is different from any other coral reef that grow in Pacific Ocean. In Carribean Sea most of the coral reef are located in shallow area and the water is quite clear too. This, can be used to attract tourist to come to the Carribean Sea. Because of this, there are many diver shop that opened near the beach. So, tourist can choose whether they wanted to see the coral reef by diving or snorkelling.

Another example of places in the world besides Carribean Sea that has beautiful coral reefs are The Great Barrier Reef that is located in Australia. As I already mention on top of my essay, The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef in the world. In fact, it is the largest structure on Earth built by living things: corals. Almost 3. 000 individual reefs stretching approximately 1. 300 miles along the northeast coast of Australia. Off course there are many amazing variety of marine life and reef habitat reside there, like dolphins, turtles, the sea cow (dugong), and sometimes there are also whales.

In fact, there are two millions people visit and dive there each year. Besides The Great Barrier Reef, there is also Palau Archipelago. Palau is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean composed by around 343 islands, which is surrounded by seas and coasts and considered as wonder of the Underwater World. Palau is one of the greatest diving spots of the Earth. It is located to the southwest of Micronesia to 800 Kilometers (around 500 miles) of the Philippines. According to many scientists Palau is the most biologically diverse coral reef of the world.

Sea biologists have found 700 coral species and over 1500 fish species in the reefs of Palau. Some of the most famous species that live in this underwater universe are: yellow butterfly fish, blue-headed wrasses, trunk fish, emperor angelfish-black, Ngemelis corals, anemones, giant clams (whose bodies measure until one meter), red and green brittle stars, shellfish, big cuttlefish, octopus, squids, the bizarre crocodille-fish, sea turtles, dolphins, whales, sea cow, and etc. All these species of fish attracts also great variety of predators like sharks, manta rays, eagle rays amongst other.

From this we can conclude that coral reef can be the source of economy for people that live near the coral reef area. The third advantage of coral reef is being the sources of medicine by doing marine research. Humans have been attempting to understand and use oceanic resources since ancient times. Apart from corals, which have calcium and 74 other life-enhancing minerals, some of the coral reef organisms that hold special importance for the pharmaceutical companies are invertebrates like Sponges, Tunicates, Bryozoans, and Octocorals that are permanently attached to some surfaces.

Since they are immobile, it becomes necessary for them to produce chemicals for either attracting prey or repelling predators, for reproducing, and many other purposes. Many of these chemicals have been found to have important antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer drugs. Now, some scientists are doing some research about the potential of coral reef to cure diseases or for medical treatment. Because, they believe that it can be source of medicine in the next decade. Take example in Taiwan, Japan, China, and India coral reef products have been traditionally used for treating various illnesses.

In Philippines for instance, giant clams are used as a malaria treatment. Let me give you another example of medicine made from organism in coral reefs. In United States, scientists have discovered new medicines such as “Ara-A” (an antiviral drug used for treatment of Herpes Infection), an antiviral drug ”AZT”, and an anti-cancer agent “Ara-C” that used to treat acute myelocytic leukimia and non-Hodgkin`s lymphoma.

The three new drugs that I have written earlier are made from extract of sponges that found on Carribean Reef. Besides, it can be the ource of medicine, organism in coral reef can be made to become cosmetics like “sun cream” products with SPF 50 that have been developed by Australian Researchers. In the future, coral reef ecosystems could represent an increasingly important source of medical treatments, nutritional supplements, pesticides, cosmetics, and other commercial products. The fourth advantage of coral reef is providing protective barrier around many islands. Same with the function of Mangroove trees, coral reefs has become an important aspect towards protecting coastal areas.

Because, when the ocean waves crash against the coastal areas, the destructive power of the waves can cause an erosion, uproot the plants and damage existing facilities around the coastal area . But, with the presence of coral reefs that have a rocky structure, it can forms as a natural barrier around coastal areas which can absorbs the force of the waves. Actually, when the waves damage coral reef, the living coral reef structures growing back rather than eroding. Besides becoming a protective barrier, coral reefs also provide protection towards storm and flood to coastal areas by taking the brunt of the storm before it comes to the ashore.

From this essay we can conclude that coral reefs have many advantages for human. That`s why we must preserve the coral reef that exist today, and not to damage them. To help preserve the coral reefs, we can start from the most smallest thing like not throwing garbage in the ocean, or when we are diving and see coral reefs, do not touch them because they can damage the coral reefs. Although things like this seem small, do not underestimate it. Because all efforts to take care of something important, is starting from the little things we do.

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