Corals are in danger, and plastic is the one to blame!

Coral reefs are the pillars of the oceans and are essential to the marine ecosystem. Absorbing more than 70% of the force of the waves, preventing the consequences of natural disasters, they are also a shelter for 25% of marine species. Yet today, two thirds of these corals are under threat.

These coloured limestone fields that line our oceans are one of the great victims of human activity. Certain fishing practices that decimate the seabed or unregulated tourist activities are one of the causes, but not the only ones! It is also essential to protect corals from the plastic debris that suffocate them.

An Australian and American team studied 124,000 corals on more than 150 reefs in 8 regions of the Pacific Ocean. The results are clear: plastic debris have a real impact on the health of many species, and would foster the development of diseases: it deprives them of light and releases toxins that allow pathogens to take hold. In addition, microplastics, by settling on the corals, will “suffocate” them and lead to coral bleaching. The more complex the shape of the coral is, the more it will retain plastic debris.

11.1 billion pieces of plastic debris are entangled in corals. This number is expected to increase by 40% over the next seven years.

In order to protect these natural wonders, many NGOs and organisations are working to preserve them. This is the case of our partner the Aquarium of Lyon, which has set up a coral aquaculture. About a hundred cuttings are produced on site each year in order to participate in the conservation of aquatic species, and to recreate an ecosystem, an ambassador for its environment, to raise public awareness of marine biodiversity.

The NGO Coral Guardian is also fighting for this around the world, and offers a fun solution to finance and raise awareness about the condition of corals: adoption! Discover our coral The SeaCleaners sponsored by our partner W2P!