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The Great Chagos Bank
Transcript of The Great Chagos Bank
The Great Chagos Bank, in the Chagos Archipelago, about 500 km south of the maldives, it is the the largest atoll structure in the world. It has a total area of 12,642 km. There are only four emerging reefs, mostly located on the western rim of the atoll, These reefs have seven or eight individual low and sandy islands, with a total land area of about 5.6 km. All islands and their surrounding waters are a Strict Nature Reserve since 1998.
The greatest threat to these reefs comes from the relatively rapid establishment, growth of the tourist industry, and the introduction of mechanised fishing. Coral mining, construction of groynes, breakwaters, and jetties, and anchor damage and siltation caused by speedboats are causing considerable damage as well. These threats can be linked to economic development as the reef is close to the maldives, a large tourist hotspot, the reef may soon become a large part of tourism. Industrial development is starting to destroy the reef as well as fishing may start to decrease the population of fish.
The value of the Great Chagos Reef
Global warming- the increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels can lead to the sea water becoming warmer and more acidic, this makes it difficult for the coral to produce calcium carbonate and the change in temperature can even kill the coral(bleaching).
Coral Diseases- About 30 diseases have been identified since they were discovered more than 30 years ago. Coral disease has a major impact on reefs, 80% of coral has been lost over 20 years to disease, very little is known about these diseases but scientists believe that it is linked to global warming.
The Great Chagos Bank
What is the Great Chagos Bank?
An atoll is a ring shaped coral reef including a
coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely.
There may be coral islands on the coral rim.
Other threats include pollution, increased shipping traffic, risk of oil spills and dumping, inadequate waste disposal, and the overuse of water pumps and fertilisers for agriculture. Many of these problems are based on economic problems and many of these are not related to social or enviromental factors.
Coral reef organisms have been used to make medical treatments to treat diseases
They occupy 1% of the ocean but they contain 25% of ocean species.
Important nesting sites for rare or endangered species
The Great Chagos Bank is starting to become a tourist hotspot and may soon lead to a large part of the countries profit
Fisheries are also a large part of the reef and it provides a large part of the fishing industry and it may become worse as the population grows and it can also be seen as a threat
How it can be managed?
To help manage the coral reef a program has been set
up so that a large barrier can be set up around the bank so that blast fishing and cyanide fishing can't take place. Charities like WWF are trying to prevent
the Great Chagos Bank from becoming a huge tourist hotspot so that people do not trample and destory coral, they are also trying to protect endangered species that visit there, like turtles.
The area will still be used for medicinal purposes as they coral and animals that live can provide great treatments for those with seroius illness.
By Bailey and Catherine
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