WASHINGTON (CN) – The National Marine Fisheries Service will launch a year-long status review of 82 species of coral, after finding that a Center for Biological Diversity petition contains enough information to warrant the review under the Endangered Species Act.
The petition asserts that ocean warming, ocean acidification and the impact of coastal development and reef tourism are the greatest threats to these species.
The petition states that immediate action is needed to reduce greenhouse gases to decrease levels of fast-growing algae, and macroalgae, which out-compete coral larvae by occupying the same space as the coral and producing toxic metabolites that prevent coral larvae from attaching to the reef.
Of the 83 petitioned species, eight species live in the U.S. waters of the Caribbean, and 75 live in the U.S. waters of the Indo Pacific. The petition states that all 82 species have suffered population reductions of at least 30 percent over a 30-year period.