EVEN THOUGH the profits are small, miners in search of a quick buck are exploiting coral reefs all over the Indian Ocean, causing immense damage to the marine ecology.
The problem is particularly severe in Sri Lanka, where 10,000 tonnes of live coral and coral fragments are hauled ashore each year for use by the construction industry, which converts it into building blocks and lime. The government says 80 per cent of Sri Lanka's reefs have already been damaged.
Experts say mining a reef wrecks the nurseries of hundreds of marine plants and animals and biologists report there has been a drop in coastal fish stocks. Stripping coral reefs also impairs their natural role as breakwaters.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.