Sauvons le récif corallien

Le récif corallien constitue un écosystème marin exceptionnel. Il héberge quelques-uns des plus beaux organismes vivants. Il représente la principale source de protéines pour plus de dix millions de personnes dans le monde et les activités qu'il génère (principalement la pêche et le tourisme) assurent le revenu de millions de foyers. Le coût humain de la destruction de cet écosystème est énorme. Or, cette destruction se poursuit à l'échelle de la planète. Elle est parfois totale et le risque de voir disparaître le récif corallien est réel.

Mais il n'y a pas que de mauvaises nouvelles. Nous savons ce qu'il faut faire pour les protéger et restaurer leur "résilience", autrement dit leur capacité à maintenir leur intégrité face aux variations de l'environnement qui interviennent dans tout écosystème. Nous devons intervenir pour limiter les conséquences du réchauffement planétaire tout en protégeant la résilience des récifs coralliens.

Historiquement, les principales causes de la dégradation des récifs sont la pêche excessive et la pollution. Dans un écosystème sain, lorsque le nombre de proies diminue, les prédateurs sont frappés de malnutrition et leur nombre va en diminuant également, ce qui permet la régénérescence des proies. Mais les prédateurs humains sont différents. Lorsque le nombre de nos proies baisse, leur valeur économique augmente et de ce fait, la pêche redouble d'intensité. En conséquence de quoi, lorsqu'une espèce prédatrice est en diminution, la pêche s'oriente vers des poissons herbivores, ce qui conduit à leur déclin rapide dans les récifs coralliens.

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