Over fishing has been a problem for many Caribbean nations in the present time. However, the main concern now, according to some studies conducted on marine ecology, is not necessarily the dwindling population of the fish species, but that of the corals in the Caribbean reefs. These problems are not at all separate but are all interconnected with one another.
Corals are the fishes’ homes especially the likes of parrot fishes and angelfishes. In return for giving shelter to many fish species, the parrot fish and angelfish also protect their homes from unwanted visitors and invaders. They are natural predators to the natural enemy of corals, which are sponges. As the number of fishes decline and with the increasing incidence of over fishing, the natural protection of the coral reefs are then also removed from the ecosystem. The sponges then infest on the unprotected coral reefs, diminishing them, and even feeding on what was left of their remains.
According to a study in PeerJ journal, many researchers have come into the conclusion that fishermen are also actively increasing the threats to the corals because they’ve found out that the over fishing activities of the fishermen eradicates the natural predators of sponges. Co-author of the said study aforementioned in the journal, Tse-Lynn Loh added that saving the natural predators of sponges saves the coral population as well.
Lead researcher of the study published in PeerJ journal said that the study could be a very huge help for many Caribbean nations to improve their strategies on protecting marine life. The study has shown us that corals’ greatest threat is not really caused by active human fishing, but is greatly affected as a side effect to over fishing of sponge predators. Although, the threat to the coral population is not solely caused by human intervention, but of nature as well, people should find the heart to protect the endangered corals as soon as possible before they become extinct.