Coral Reef, © NOAA

Do Corals Stand a Chance?

Any scuba diver will tell you that the world’s coral reefs today are a far cry from what they once were. Climate change is leaving a permanent mark on these underwater jungles, a problem that only promises to get worse with time. Warmer water temperatures cause coral bleaching, a sudden death that occurs when corals expel the algae that normally live inside them, providing them with food and bright coloration. Warmer oceans also make corals more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infection, such as black band disease and purple blotch disease.

Rising temperatures aren’t the only threat facing reefs today. Overfishing, the explosion of invasive species, and an unsustainable aquarium trade all threaten the survival of these biological marvels, as well as the economies that rely on them. With the odds stacked against them, is there anything we can do to save coral reefs before it’s too late?

Wildlife biologist and Defenders’ board member Jeff Corwin, along with the Georgia Aquarium, is determined to find out.  Watch a sneak preview of his show, “Ocean Mysteries” below and join Jeff as he explores one of the world’s majestic reefs, and what hope they have for the future.

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Hear more from Defenders’ board member Jeff Corwin as he talks about the world’s coral reefs – and how climate change is slowly killing these magnificent hotspots of biodiversity.

Defenders is working with other conservation and humane advocates to make sure the international trade in coral reef animals is done is a safe, sustainable way. Stay tuned for more on our efforts to protect the world’s reefs and the array of wildlife who call them home.

Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin airs on Saturdays at 11am. Check your local ABC listings for more details.

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