Fiji: The Coral is Dying Off

by Max Shen

When recently visiting the beautiful Yasawa Island chain of Fiji, we were excited to snorkel and see a rainbow of corals and tropical fish. Instead, wherever we went to snorkel, most of the coral was dead and covered with brown algae. It was gut wrenching to see. 

Local residents said that the amount and diversity of fish has been impacted by this. Fiji's corals have been impacted both by warming seas (at times, the water was burning hot in certain areas as we swam) and by massive cyclones...both issues caused by global climate change and warming. Most Fijians depend directly or indirectly on sea life supported by coral reefs. Globally, reefs are dying off, affecting an estimated 1 billion people. Regeneration projects are having some success, at deeper levels below the surface, but the global situation still looks very precarious.