Coral reefs are among the most diverse and yet fragile habitats on the planet. These shallow-water ecosystems support millions of underwater species, and reef fish like the grouper (lapu-lapu) have been the traditional catch and food for many a local fisherman for generation upon generation in the Philippines and other shored tropical countries. But due to the popularity of these fish for food and display, overfishing has occurred, and in particular, growth overfishing, which refers to the catching of fish before they have a chance to reproduce, resulting in the widespread decrease in population for fish species that are considered delicacies around the world.

 

In fact, overfishing is one of the major environmental issues in the Coral Triangle—an area comprising of the sea areas around six Indo-Pacific countries: the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Island,s and Timor-Leste—which harbors over three-fourths of the world's known coral species, over half the world's reefs, and almost half of the world's coral fish species.

 

Learn more about coral reefs and the problems that plague them by watching this clip from BBC's Blue Planet series.

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