Scientists Have Discovered Why Corals Are Eating Plastic, And It Could Have A Devastating Impact

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Image: wembley

For coral reefs in particular, the future looks bleak. Although these underwater habitats currently occupy only a tiny fraction of the ocean, they support a staggering 25 percent of all marine life. In fact, there are thousands of different species of fish, crustacea, bacteria and more that live in reefs around the world.

Image: Derek Keats

However, these diverse ecosystems are dying at an alarming rate. In fact, according to a 2011 report by the World Resources Institute, as many as 75 percent of the oceans’ coral reefs are currently endangered – a figure that’s expected to rise to 100 percent by 2050.

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Image: Linus Nylund

Apparently, there are many factors that are contributing to the decline of the world’s coral reefs. Among them are overfishing, tourism, development and climate change. Additionally, natural occurrences such as hurricanes and disease all have a negative impact on these fragile ecosystems.

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