On June 1st, World Coral Reef Day takes place. This day is not so much dedicated to the beauty of these living communities but rather to their preservation. Indeed, this day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the deterioration of coral reefs and to call for action from companies and organizations that wish to help our reefs!
The health of a reef tells us a lot about the health of an ocean. Many fish and marine animals depend on protecting a healthy, living reef for the mating season. The reef offers protection and provides a rich and thriving food web.
The benefits of a healthy reef ecosystem extend far beyond the ocean. Coral reefs are:
- Essential for plant and fish life
- Contributing to the vitality of the fishing industry
- Protecting beaches and coastlines from erosion
- Acting as a filter for the oceans
- Providing life-saving medicines
- The only animal on the planet known to be capable of consuming plastic.
In recent years, reefs have been declining due to coral bleaching. For example, the Great Barrier Reef has been reduced by 40%. The situation is even worse along with the Florida Keys and the Caribbean. Their decline is between 85% and 99%! Over 90% of the Caribbean reefs have disappeared since 1980.
What are the causes of the disappearance of coral reefs?
- The increase in the sea’s temperature
- Industrial pollution, plastic pollution, sewage
- Chemical sunscreens
- Unmanaged and high-density tourism threatens all coral reefs.
- Overfishing and industrial fishing
Our action at the Fairmont:
Fairmont Mayakoba, in partnership with Oceanus AC, offers guests the opportunity to help save the planet by restoring the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest in the world.
This reef stretches in front of the Mayakoba Beach and guests can set out on a guided catamaran to discover how corals are being reintroduced to the ocean.
Since May 2015, Fairmont Mayakoba began collaborating with Oceanus, a nonprofit focused on rebuilding coral reefs by creating nurseries. This has led to the transplantation of more than 1,500 corals with an 80% survival rate that continues to grow, improving natural resilience.
Our team encourages our guests to actively participate in our snorkeling tours so they can experience the nurseries and better understand the process we follow to preserve the corals.
By: Lisa Guerin