HOW DO CORAL MINING AND INDISCRIMINATE HARVESTING AFFECT CORAL REEFS?
• Reef destruction and sedimentation. Mining blasts and removal of the reef, destroying it and causing other indirect impacts, such as sand erosion, land retreat, and sedimentation. These can all greatly affect coastal towns, villages and the tourism industry because the coral protects coastlines and builds beaches.
• Slow recovery. The skeletal framework of reefs, which is removed through mining or removal of reef rock, is built up over hundreds to thousands of years and will take as long to grow back.
• Loss of fish habitat. Removal of coral rock ,“live rock” from reefs removes critical habitat for fish and other animals.
• Economic losses. Coral mining creates a significant long-term loss to society, including a loss in fisheries value, coastal protection, and tourism. When considering these factors, the cost of destroying or mismanaging one square kilometer (0.62 square miles) of reef results in losses between US $137,000 and US $1.2 million over a 25 year period (Richmond, 1994).