Saturday, April 20, 2024

Biological Diversity Advocacy Group Files Lawsuit To Save 12 Coral Species


The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a lawsuit against the US National Marine Fisheries Service to save habitat for pillar coral, mountainous star coral and 10 other rare corals.

According to the center:

“Thanks to our petition, all these species won Endangered Species Act protection in 2014, but none have the protected critical habitat they need to survive and recover — even though it’s required by law.”

In 2020, legal action by the center forced the US federal government to propose protection for more than 6,000 square miles (1554 square km) off Florida, in the Caribbean and in the Pacific. The problem is, though, that NMFS still hasn’t finalized the proposal, according to the center, “and these corals can’t afford to wait.”

Corals are declining dramatically because of climate change, pollution and overfishing, the center says. Climate change has already killed half of all coral reefs worldwide, and a third of the reef-building corals left are at risk of extinction.

According to center attorney Emily Jeffers:

“Coral reefs are the backbones of a healthy ocean. We’ll have to address greenhouse gas pollution to truly ensure that corals survive. But designating habitat can improve water quality, which will go a long way toward helping these suffering species.”

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.