Over one third of Indonesia's coral reefs in bad state, study finds

November 28, 2018
Indonesia has some of the world's finest corals but many are also badly damaged

More than a third of Indonesia's coral reefs are in bad condition, scientists said Tuesday, raising concerns about the future of the archipelago's vast marine ecosystem.

The precarious state of the country's was revealed after a survey of 1067 sites across the sprawling country of more than 17,000 islands.

Scientists from Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) found that just 6.5 percent Indonesia's coral reefs were in excellent condition, while 36 percent are in bad condition. Some 34 percent in sufficient condition with the rest classifed as being in good condition.

"Anthropogenic factors are having more influence on the condition of corals in Indonesia today," Dr Dirhamsyah, head of the institute's oceanographic research centre, said in a statement.

"The use of coast has increased which can threaten the ecosystem."

Dirhamsyah, who like many Indonesians has only one name, said greater public awareness was needed "for the survival of marine life" in Indonesia.

Indonesia has one of the most extensive coral systems in the world and more people live close to reefs than anywhere else on the planet, according to the Coral Reef Alliance.

But the giant living organisms face a number of threats, including man-made climate change, destructive fishing techniques and nutrient and sediment loading.

Indonesia is also the world's second biggest contributor to marine debris after China, producing an estimated 1.29 million metric tons annually.

Conservation group WWF warned last month up to half of the globe's shallow-water reefs, which support a quarter of all marine life, have already been wiped out.

If humanity fails to keep at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, coral mortality is likely to hit 70-90 percent by the middle of the century, the United Nations warned in a recent report.

Indonesia is part of the Coral Triangle, the most biodiverse marine area on earth which passes through six countries, including the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Explore further: Insurance policy could save Earth's coral reefs

Related Stories

New Caledonia protects huge swathe of coral reefs

August 14, 2018

New Caledonia agreed Tuesday to tougher protections around a huge swathe of some of the world's last near-pristine coral reefs, in a move conservationists hailed as a major breakthrough.

Coral 'network' can protect Asia-Pac fish stocks

February 22, 2011

An international scientific team has shown that strong links between the corals reefs of the south China sea, West Pacific and Coral Triangle hold the key to preserving fish and marine resources in the Asia-Pacific region.

UK cruise ship damages pristine Indonesian coral reef

March 14, 2017

A British-owned cruise ship has smashed into and damaged pristine coral reefs in a remote corner of Indonesia known as one of the world's most biodiverse marine habitats, researchers and officials said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Observation of quantized heating in quantum matter

February 19, 2019

Shaking a physical system typically heats it up, in the sense that the system continuously absorbs energy. When considering a circular shaking pattern, the amount of energy that is absorbed can potentially depend on the orientation ...

Sound waves let quantum systems 'talk' to one another

February 18, 2019

Researchers at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory have invented an innovative way for different types of quantum technology to "talk" to each other using sound. The study, published Feb. 11 in Nature ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.