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4th Global Mass Coral Bleaching Event

Why is it in the news?

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Coral Reef Watch (CRW) and the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) have confirmed the occurrence of the 4th global mass coral bleaching event.

More about the news

  • Mass bleaching has been observed in at least 53 countries, territories, and local economies, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
  • This event marks the second such occurrence in the past 10 years, with the previous event lasting from 2014 to 2017.
About Coral Reef

·       Corals are invertebrate animals classified as “hard coral” (reef-building) or “soft coral”. They establish symbiotic relationships with microscopic algae called zooxanthellae.

·       Coral reefs thrive in warm, salty, clear, shallow marine waters with stable temperatures and abundant sunlight.

·       Often termed as the rainforests of the ocean, coral reefs support around 25% of marine life.

·       They minimize storm impacts, promote tourism, and act as carbon sinks.

Coral Bleaching:

·       When stressed by changes in conditions like temperature or light, corals expel symbiotic algae, causing them to turn completely white.

·       Factors include increased ocean temperatures due to climate change, runoff and pollution, extreme low tides, and ocean acidification.

Measures for Coral Reef Conservation:

·       Global Initiatives: Organizations like ICRI, Global Fund for Coral Reefs, Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), and the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) work towards coral reef conservation.

·       Coral Triangle: A marine area in the western Pacific Ocean encompassing Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and the Solomon Islands.

·       India’s Efforts: Conservation efforts include Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), and coral restoration through technologies like Biorock.


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