What are reefs? Significance of reefs

What are reefs? Well, they are the beautiful ecosystem that supports numerous types of life. It is a place where the sea is rich with life, clarity of water, temperature and oxygen levels, salinity, etc. It is also a place where large groups of fish swim and feed (in fact, if you put a camera underwater in a reef environment you will see fish swimming!)”. A reef, in marine ecology, is a system of connected macro-invertebrates. Marine rainforests, coral reef systems and coral reefs can be found in every ocean world in our world and beyond.

Coral reef is a distinct ecosystem of living structures that supports a diverse group of organisms. It is found in nearly all oceans, except those near the poles and in deep sea trenches where currents carry nutrients down from deeper areas. Largely because of over-fishing over the past century, the Great Barrier Reef is now in serious decline. The Australian Barrier Reef, however, is better understood for its gastronomic and recreational aspects and is considered one of the world’s best places to visit.

Coral reefs are marine ecosystems consisting of a highly varied suite of organisms. These unique ecosystems attract a diverse array of species while creating special ecological niches in which various groups coexist and function together. Many coral reefs are located around the world and are important recreational and scientific refuges. Scientists estimate there are more than 2,700 of them around the world. Many are the remnants of massive organisms once living on the planet in greater numbers. These creatures are known as “rare fishes” and today they are restricted to few locations.

Coral reefs are semi-enclosed systems of continental shelves and seagrasses surrounded by water. In the open ocean, corals are found from north to south along continental shelves and are limited to shallow reef flats and rocky outcrops. Reefs formed above the water line adjacent to islands or at the mouths of streams have a generally flatter configuration and may be easier to approach for scuba diving.