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A recent study points to another threat to the survival of coral reefs: sudden drops in oxygen levels.

Warming and acidifying oceans are destroying the world's coral reefs and the diverse ecosystems they sustain. Reef habitats have already shrunk an estimated 30% to 50% since the 1980s, and experts say they could vanish almost completely in the next 20 years.

A recent study points to another threat to the survival of coral reefs: sudden drops in oxygen levels.

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The ocean is facing a perfect storm of pollution, overfishing, and climate change. Unsplash

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and The Ocean Agency, in collaboration with creativity partner Adobe, on Friday launched the Ocean League, a new campaign that showcases the power of creativity in driving positive change for ocean protection and climate action.

The ocean is facing a perfect storm of pollution, overfishing, and climate change, and these threats have pushed ecosystems such as coral reefs to the tipping point of collapse.

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Sri Lanka, rich in coral reefs, had lost 90 per cent of its corals in recent years mainly due to illegal fishing methods such as bottom trawling and dynamite blasting. Pixabay

Sri Lanka’s state-owned Marine Environment Protection Authority on Wednesday warned that the country only had 10 per cent of live coral reefs in its oceans as 90 per cent had died due to pollution, illegal fishing methods and excessive climate change.

Dr Terney Pradeep Kumara, General Manager of the marine authority, told Xinhua news agency that urgent steps must be taken by the government to mark the remaining live coral reefs as “highly protected areas” and measures must be taken to move these live corals to deeper seas.

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Coral reefs can be prevented by understanding communication of starfish. VOA
  • The communication patterns of a species of starfish that feeds on coral
  • The crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) species is one of the few animals that can eat corals
  • The presence of this species, referred to by the locals as onihitode or demon starfish in Japan

Tokyo, June 5, 2017: Japanese and Australian scientists have discovered the communication patterns of a species of starfish that feeds on coral.

This discovery, the scientists hope, will help in the preservation of the coral reefs as a single specimen of the crown-of-thorns starfish consumes up to 10 sq. metres of coral meat per year and is responsible for between 37 per cent to 99 per cent of the decrease in live coral cover, Efe news reported.

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