Over the past years, climate change, ocean acidification, and pollution have endangered coral reefs, highly important ecosystems for the survival of underwater biodiversity. More measures that contribute to their conservation are needed, according to the director of Oceana Mexico’s Habitat Campaign, Miguel Rivas Soto.
Although coral reefs are estimated to cover only 1 percent of the total land surface, these shallow-water rocky communities are highly significant as they provide food, shelter, and reproduction for 25 percent of ocean biodiversity.
The PhD in Sciences from the Institute of Ecology at UNAM stated that in Mexico, according to the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conamp), reefs can be found in three regions: Pacific, Gulf, and Yucatan Peninsula.
In this way, states such as Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Colima, Jalisco, Michoacán, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo have the privilege of coexisting with them, but also the responsibility, together with federal authorities, to guarantee their integrity.
“Reefs are very rich ecosystems that harbor great diversity, they grow very slowly and require very specific characteristics to grow, such as temperature, luminosity, and pH, therefore, they are very fragile,” he explained.
“Mexico is a fortunate country, it has reefs on the Caribbean coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and also in the Pacific, this makes us a privileged country, we are one of the megadiverse countries in the world, thanks to these ecosystems like mangroves and reefs, taking care of them and protecting them must be a national priority,” he added.