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Two islands sink below sea due to coral mining

By Leonard Ho - Posted May 17, 2011 07:00 AM
The Gulf of Mannar Marine Park's original 21 islands is now down to 19. Two tiny islands located between Sri Lanka and India have disappeared below the waves. Although the region is a protected biological preserve, 'experts' believe fishermen have continually mined the reefs for their corals, eroding the islands' foundations and ultimately sinking them.
Two islands sink below sea due to coral mining

photo by Mila Zinkova

As reported by the NY Daily News, the corals were sold to the construction industry for their high calcium carbonate content (commonly used as an industrial binding material).  Harvest for the construction industry would entail indiscriminate, large-scale coral harvest, unlike the selective harvest for the aquarium trade.  Still, this news should serve as a reminder for us to be more conscientious with our coral purchases.  Buy captive grown whenever possible; With the number of proven, beautiful specimens available these days, there really is very little - if any - reason to purchase wild, reef-building coral colonies.

via NY Daily News

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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