Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The damage of coral reefs caused by anchoring

by Charles Roring in Manokwari of West Papua - Indonesia

Most moveable floating structures such as boats, yachts and ships have anchors. Crews of diving boats sometimes throw anchor in coral reef areas thus breaking up the reef structures. This kind of practices causes massive damage to coral reefs in many diving sites around the world especially on locations where sustainable tourism principles have not been introduced.


When an anchor falls on corals it will crush the reef structures and kill the coral and other marine organism that live in or depend on the corals. In addition, repeated anchoring practices upon coral reef communities will degrade their economic values. The number of fish population will decrease a long with the spread of destruction of coral reef. In addition, damaged coral reef will not be interesting for scuba diving tourists anymore.


To certain extent the landing of anchor to sandy area between the coral reefs will cause the clouding of water by the disturbed sediment. The particles of the sediment will cover the coral thus blocking the sunlight that is very important for the symbiotic algae to carry out photosynthesis.

As a way out, the scuba diving operators that frequently take advantage the economic value of the coral reef and the marine park administrator must work together in installing mooring systems in areas where coral reefs live or thrive. The mooring system will reduce or minimize the number of damages or break up of corals. The crews of diving boats and yachts will not throw anchors into the sea instead they will tie them to the mooring system. Also read: The impact of marine tourism to local communities and coral reef environment; Traveling and scuba diving in Bunaken of North Sulawesi; Cheap hotel for travelers and scuba divers in Manokwari of West Papua; Traveling and scuba diving in Okinawa Japan

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