Sea and land ecosystems are never separated from the variety of beauty that exists. The beauty of God’s masterpiece is properly guarded by preserving and avoiding damage. Efforts to preserve ecosystems on land, sea, swamp ecosystems, lake ecosystems, and other areas are a common obligation and need.
The most tangible potential of beauty we can see through the depths of the sea. Some of the seas in Indonesia have very beautiful types of coral reefs. Unfortunately, there is not a little damage that occurs to marine biota because of various things, especially because of the actions of irresponsible hands belonging to humans.
Coral reefs are part of the marine ecosystem results from coral animals and a number of lime-producing algae that eventually form a calcium carbonate deposit. These marine biota activities will form a calcium carbonate and eventually become a sanctuary for these animals.
The presence of coral reefs can help vertebrate and invertebrate animals in the sea to protect themselves from the attacks by predators and strong ocean waves. Reefs that usually form calcium carbonate are invertebrate animals belonging to the Phylum Coelenterate or Cnidaria group. The coral animals that live and form the coral reef are ranging in size from 1 mm to greater than 50 cm.
Damage to coral reefs as a habitat for marine animals is a matter that must be followed up. When a coral reef is damaged, it can automatically damage the marine biota that lives in it. Therefore, there must be cultivation of coral reefs to rehabilitate damaged coral reef ecosystems. The process of cultivating coral reefs is quite effective by means of coral transplants. The ways to cultivate coral reefs are: (Also read: Characteristics of Ocean Biome and the explanation)
- Selecting and Determining the Location of Coral Reefs
Based on expert observations, the selection and determination of locations for the coral transplant process is very important. Coral growth, whose process is fairly long and long, requires a location with minimal micro algae content because other types of algae and coral diseases are factors that must be considered for the process of coral reef rehabilitation.
- Selective Selection of Coral Seeds
Algae and various coral diseases can apparently attack coral seedlings that are in preparation for transplantation so they need to be selective in choosing healthy coral seedlings. The characteristics of healthy coral seedlings can be of bright and firm color.
- Minimizing Stressful Coral Reef Seed Conditions
Coral reefs that experience stress will usually emit a lot of mucous fluid. Coral reefs sometimes experience stress due to improper transplantation. When coral reef seedlings will be removed from origin, coral reefs must be placed in plastic containers to avoid stress.
- Provide Monitoring and Maintenance of Coral Seeds
When coral seedlings have been installed and in the process of growth, regular coral monitoring and cleaning must be carried out. This is done to maintain the health of coral seedlings. Coral seeds that have contracted the disease will usually be difficult to recover. The only way is to cut the diseased coral so that the disease does not spread. In many cases, it is rare for corals that have been infected with the disease to recover and grow healthily.
- Choose the Right Transplant Method
There are many methods that can be applied to coral transplantation processes, including shelf methods, net methods, substrate methods, and concrete methods. These various methods can be used in accordance with the conditions of the coral reef location. As for several advantages of these methods, including:
- Shelves, nets, and substrate methods are widely used for ornamental coral cultivation. This method is widely used because it facilitates operations.
- Concrete methods are more recommended for coral cultivation with the aim of rehabilitating damaged coral reefs.
- Methods of racks, nets, and substrates whose materials are made of wood, pipes, or iron are not strong enough to withstand the burden of coral reefs. Coral reefs will continue to grow and develop, so that coral colonies will grow bigger.
- Concrete methods made of concrete have a strong construction and are able to withstand the burgeoning coral reef load. The use of concrete is much more stable than wood, pipes, or iron. In many cases, this concrete medium can be used as a place for attaching coral larvae and attaching corals naturally without human assistance.
- Maintaining Coral Reef Seed Ecosystems from Environmental Pollution
Coral seedlings are very sensitive to their environment. Littering and dumping various wastes are things that must be avoided to get a healthy and beautiful coral reef colony.
- Involving Community Participation
The cultivation of coral reefs is better to involve coastal communities in locations that need rehabilitation of coral reefs. Assistance to coastal communities in maintaining coral reef ecosystems and how to catch legal fish is the best way to provide awareness about the importance of protecting coral reefs in the sea.
- Conducting Periodic Research for Coral Reefs
Some scientists who have a concentration in this field should continue to develop on matters relating to coral reef growth. It is important to involve these scientists so that coral reef ecosystems can grow and be well preserved in the oceans of Indonesia.
Today, not only coral reef cultivation is being carried out. Seaweed cultivation has been carried out as a form of preservation of the types of seaweed in Indonesia. Seaweed is a living place for marine biota and plays a role in the balance of the marine ecosystem. The uniqueness of seaweed in the Indonesian ocean is included in the classification of seaweed which must be protected and preserved.
Factors Causing Damage to Coral Reefs
Coral reef ecosystems are indeed very sensitive. The environment in which coral reefs live and develop is one of the things that affect the coral reef. Coral transplantation is one way to cultivate coral reef ecosystems. The technique used is to multiply coral colonies by using asexual reproduction of corals by fragmentation.
There is a movement to do coral reef cultivation because this ecosystem is very important for the survival of existing marine biota. The condition of coral reefs in Indonesia, according to the results of research from P3O-LIPI, of the 371 coral observation sites in Indonesia, only 6.20% of the condition of coral reefs are in very good and healthy condition, 33% are still in good condition, while the rest in a state of crisis and damage. (Also read: 13 Causes Of Ocean Habitat Loss You Must Know).
The condition of damaged coral reefs is indeed influenced by various factors. Factors that play a role in the destruction of coral reefs include physical, biological, and human activities. Physical and biological factors are indeed unavoidable because this occurs in accordance with natural conditions beyond human control. It is human-caused damage that must be a common concern. The following is an explanation of the factors that cause damage to coral reefs:
- Physical Factors
Physical factors are affected due to changes in temperature and weather conditions ranging from heavy rain to hurricanes.
- Biological Factors
Biological factors are influenced by the state of coral predation that occurs from crown-of-thorns starfish and sea urchins when these marine biota experience an increase in population due to unbalanced ecosystems. (Also read: 13 Function of Sea Sponges For Human Society).
- Factors of Human Activity
This factor of human activity should be avoided or at least minimized for the creation of beautiful coral reefs. These factors include:
- There is a massive take of coral reefs and sponges for trade purposes.
- Taking dead coral reefs for use of building materials.
- Catching fish for consumption needs with prohibited methods such as using dynamite, cyanide, electric currents, and other tools that harm the marine ecosystem.
- Tourists who come then throw garbage or leave the garbage carelessly.
- There is pollution of waste from both industry and households.
The presence of coral reefs is certainly a balance of ecosystems in the sea for they preserve the ecosystem. Preservation of marine life is one way to preserve the sea because the sea is the living habitat of these animals. Not doing things that are detrimental to every living thing is one way to maintain the balance of the ecosystem because this involves the role of humans in maintaining the balance of the environment that exists on this Earth.