Coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean will be protected by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved protection for coral reefs through an official announcement released on Thursday afternoon. The decision was adopted after the commission noticed that many coral species run the risk of becoming endangered due to uncontrolled fishing activities.
Fishing activities within the ocean waters spreading between North Carolina and New York are causing problems to authorities, who are looking for measures to protect fish and coral species from various threats. For that matter, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is now looking for solutions to protect the coral reefs in this area.
According to the representatives of the said commission, the plan that they have elaborated has to be further approved by the Commerce Secretary; therefore, the Council has to wait several more months before applying the said measures. Environmental organizations, on the other hand, have urged the Commerce Secretary to revise the plan earlier, so the coral reefs may soon be protected.
The Natural Resources Defense Council has been among the first people to make comments upon the recent decision. According to their official declaration, the initiative that the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council had suggested is highly welcome. They have further stated that such solutions were necessary to protect the rare and special habitat of the Atlantic Ocean.
Researchers at the aforementioned institutions have also explained their recent interest in the protection of the coral reefs. In their opinion, these species have to be protected because they are very hard to grow.
It has taken coral reefs hundreds of years to grow into the size that we know them today, which is why we need to adopt a protection system to prevent people from harming them while fishing or sailing.
Recent studies have shown that fishing gear is the most responsible for the damages that are brought to the corals each year. For that matter, the commission has decided to ban those fishing utensils that get to the bottom of the ocean. Among the list of fishing gear they have nominated are also dredges, trawls, bottom longlines and traps as these have been very noxious for the coral reefs in the past.
The natural resources of corals that exist on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean have been first formed during Ancient times; therefore, scientists are making great efforts now to protect them as they would be almost impossible to replace with new corals.
Spokespersons at the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council have concluded by saying that the maintenance of the coral reefs will also help the natural ecosystem of the ocean. There are many fish species that are protected by the natural barrier of corals, so protecting these areas will also provide a safer habitat for these species.
Image Source: Yale.edu