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NOAA report: U.S. coral reefs in severe decline

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posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 09:46 AM
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Almost half the coral reef ecosystems in United States territory are in poor or fair condition, mostly because of rising ocean temperatures, according to a government report released Monday.

Timothy Keeney, NOAA's deputy assistant secretary for oceans and atmosphere, said 25 percent of all marine species need coral reefs to live and grow, while 40 percent of the fish caught commercially use reefs to breed.

Since NOAA's last report in 2005, the Caribbean region has lost at least 50 percent of its corals, largely because sea temperatures have risen, Keeney said.

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This is bad news for ocean ecosystems. The world at large depends on the ocean to a great extent for its protein. The fish that supply that protein depend in turn to a great extent on coral reefs to nurture and sustain them. A 50% loss of corals in the Caribbean since 2005 is alarming.




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