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It’s no secret that the health of our oceans effects the health of every other living organism on Earth. Understanding the connections between marine animals and their ecosystem is a critical part of understanding the larger web of living beings. While it is easy for us land-dwellers to forget that we rely on the sea to regulate our climate, weather patterns, and even food sources, it is imperative that we work to correct this willful forgetfulness of the ocean to help protect quickly deteriorating marine systems.

Coral reefs are a blaring example of a marine system that has born the brunt of human carelessness. Corals are to decline by 98 percent in our lifetime alone, meaning we have reached a critical time to protect these reefs.

One of the driving causes of coral loss is overfishing of the parrot fish. Between the demand for fish from fisheries and local people, these fish, that are critical to the existence of coral, are quickly disappearing with reefs close behind them. Known as the “janitor fish,” the parrot fish removes algae allowing new coral to grow. Without the fish, new coral cannot generate.

Representatives from Earthjustice are fighting tirelessly for fishery reform, with a little help from the local community and other amazing conservation organizations, they are getting much closer, but there is still much to be done.

Image source: Andrepiazza/Wikipedia Commons

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