Gary is a Fairy Basslet (His scientific name is: Gramma loreto) who lives on a coral reef. Gary is a bit grumpy at just how loud his home reef is! But why is his home so loud? Let’s dive in and see …
Poor Gary, what an ordeal! Just to fully appreciate the fact that at his special Protected Marine Reserve, he lives in one of the most beautiful reefs in the ocean, along with all his diverse neighbours and their sounds. Remember, a healthy reef is one with lots of fish, and fish are loud!
Sadly, only 2 percent of the ocean is like Gary’s Marine Reserve, protected from human activity as a “no-take” reserve. Compared to a football field, for example, that’s like protecting only a patch the size of its goal area! Because humans have taken too many fish, we need many more of these protected areas to be able to make the oceans healthy & full of fish again.
So let’s be grumpy for Gary and demand more no-take reserves where marine critters, coral and algae can be just that.
Do you know how much of the sea we should protect to make it really healthy? More than a third!
What you see in one of the frames above is coral bleaching. Jess Menzies, a marine biologist, explains that corals are tiny animals which live together and form a colony that grows in different branching tree-like shapes. Corals have lots of microalgae inside, which are algae the size of a microbe, giving corals their brilliant colours. Harmful human activities can cause the reef environment to change, such as its temperature, nutrient levels, and the amount of oxygen or light it receives. This can make the coral expel the algae and lose its nice colour. We call this coral bleaching and it is very dangerous for reefs because corals cannot live without the algae inside them.
You also see deep sea fishing, or trawling. It is very harmful to the fragile Deep Sea because it destroys everything on the bottom of the ocean and shouldn’t be allowed.
Una, writer and educator
Radu Toma, Romania
Financier and CEO, USA
Letizia, Saudi Arabia
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