Celebrating Coral Triangle Day
June 9, 2014
The Coral Triangle is an extraordinarily biodiverse marine area of the western Pacific Ocean, and today the world celebrates this globally important Mission Blue Hope Spot! Encompassing waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands, it covers 5.7 million square kilometers of ocean.
Representing less than 1% of the planet’s marine environment, coral reefs support no less than 25% of its species. The Coral Triangle is a bioregion that’s half the size of the United States and harbors more marine species than anywhere else on the planet. There are single reefs here that contain more species than the entire Caribbean. The Coral Triangle contains 76% of all known coral types, more than 3,000 species of fish and 6 out of 7 of the world’s turtle species. When it comes to abundance and sheer scale, few habitats on earth come close to the Coral Triangle Hope Spot.
Our partners at WWF have made the Coral Triangle a top priority for conservation and the organization is addressing the threats it faces through its Coral Triangle Program, launched in 2007. Part of this program is to support the nonprofit, theCoralTriangle.com, a media and travel portal featuring quality Coral Triangle related content from journalists, photographers, filmmakers and experts.
Just as the Amazon is the figurehead of the world’s rainforests – the so-called lungs of the earth, the Coral Triangle is fast developing iconic status as a marine treasure – a wellspring of the world’s ocean. The thecoraltriangle.com – aims to catalyze this process via a dynamic online platform that will tell the story of this remarkable natural environment in a multitude of voices, engaging a global audience in a range of interactions aimed at keeping the Coral Triangle vibrant and alive.
Our partners at Catlin Seaview Survey have done extensive work to map the reefs of the Coral Triangle Hope Spot using state-of-the-art technology, now hosted on Google Maps. Catlin Seaview Survey’s baseline data will be crucial in understanding the state of the world’s coral reefs and the impacts of warming oceans. All of Catlin’s data is openly available at the Catlin Global Reef Record. Check out the Coral Triangle Day, 360° infographic by Catlin Seaview Survey here!
The Coral Triangle supports large populations of commercially important tuna, fueling a multi-billion dollar global tuna industry. Over 120 million people live in the Coral Triangle and rely on its coral reefs for food, income and protection from storms. By building a global groundswell of support, we can help sustain this unique ecosystem & safeguard the livelihoods of the 120 million people who depend on it.
With its numerous natural attributes, growing stature as a destination, exuberant mix of marine based cultures and globally significant fishery, the Coral Triangle Hope Spot offers tremendous economic possibilities to the nations within its borders.
There are sharks that walk the ocean bed, marine nomads who spend their lives at sea, constant discoveries of new species and incredible destinations waiting to be found. And with the growing awareness of the crisis facing the Coral Triangle Hope Spot and the entire world ocean, the need to highlight and subsequently mitigate the impacts of overfishing, pollution and climate change has never been more important.
Feature Photo (c) Johnny Langenheim. Western Province, Solomon Islands