Bleaching threatens coral triangle

MANILA, Philippines – Environmentalists reported that mass coral bleaching caused by global warming is threatening the health of the Coral Triangle, a vast marine region that is home to 76 percent of all known corals in the world, including those found in the country.

Richard Leck, leader of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Coral Triangle Program Climate Change Strategy, said widespread bleaching has been reported in Anilao and Nasugbu towns in Batangas, and Taytay town in Palawan.

In Taytay town, corals – which previously exhibited hues of deep green – are now in temporary shades of pink, orange and yellow – a precursor to complete bleaching. Numerous other Philippine reefs are likely affected as well, aggravated by localized outbreaks of crown-of-thorns seastars. The Malaysian government, according to the WWF, has closed portions of world-renowned dive sites off the tropical islands of Tioman and Redang until October to give the fragile coral reef ecosystems time to heal. Widespread bleaching has also been reported in Indonesia, particularly in Sabang, Aceh, Padang, Thousand Island, Jakarta, and Bali, among other places.

Read the Full Article in the Philippine Star.

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