What is CORAL POACHING? What does CORAL POACHING mean? CORAL POACHING meaning – CORAL POACHING definition – CORAL POACHING explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under license.
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Coral poaching is the confiscation of highly valued coral species from protected areas for sale as many types of jewellery that could be sold of upwards to $1,800 per gram. The illegal removal of coral is one of the most major environmental issues in many counties of Eastern Asia that destroys valuable ecosystems that harbors marine life. The resulting effect of harvesting coral colonies causes a significant financial loss to the surrounding economies and the destruction of environments.
Coral is one of the most highly valued pieces of jewelry in many parts of Asia. It has a wholesale market value between $50 to $60 million per year and the value of each piece of jewelry is based on the color, size, and quality of the coral. The most common type of coral harvested that is sold is known as red coral since it is believed that this type of coral is the most precious of all types of coral. The substance is thought to be endowed with enigmatic sanctified properties as well as thought to bring about many cures and remedies. Unfortunately due to these beliefs, coral has been harvested for centuries being passed around and traded well-throughout Eastern Asia.
Since the 8th century, people have poached coral from marine ecosystems in an effort to sell it as jewelry. Coral poaching is one of the most major environmental issues in Asia which continues to destroy many valuable ecosystems and habitats. As of 2015, it is estimated that about 18.7% of coral reefs are taken care of by marine protected areas and only 2% of these areas are satisfactory enough to prevent further degradation. It is estimated that about $230,000,000 dollars is generated annually from illegal coral poaching. This causes a significant loss of value in the area being poached and has a damaging effect of the marine wildlife that lives in the area. In 1997, it was reported that a number of exporters of precious coral come from countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Indonesia.
The market for coral is mainly in Asia. Often, coral is poached by fishermen from China, India, or Japan claiming to be on legitimate fishing trips. Divers on these boats will then go down and harvest the coral. The coral will then be taken to be cured and refined into jewelry, which is then sold on the market. Coral is mined for limestone and other construction materials used for bricks, road-fill, and cement for new buildings. It is also taken for the calcium that is in the coral, as well as for decoration in marine aquariums. Jewelry companies in China, Taiwan, and India would be more than willing to pay a hefty price for coral so that it could be made into jewelry for them to sell on the market. With one colony of coral going up to 65,0000 a piece, many fisherman in Asia are willing to risk the punishment for the highly prized piece of jewelry. Illegal confiscations of coral colonies occur along the sea borders between China and Japan.
Most coral colonies that are harvested take a long time to recover and the effect on the ecosystem surrounding it can be tremendous. It is believed that about one-third of coral reefs worldwide are damaged beyond repair and the rest is under critical condition and threat. One coral site could take a minimum of 10 years to fully recover and could even take up to 50 years to finally be functioning in the environment as it had before. Many marine wildlife communities use the coral for many different things such as: homes, food, and a means for protection against prey. With any coral colony being destroyed, it takes away so much wildlife in the area and makes it almost impossible to preserve for the future. Mining the coral colonies also changes the composition of the sediment in the surrounding area which has a detrimental effect of the marine life living there.
Since the illegal removal of coral across Asia has such a huge impact on the environment and marine life, government officials in Japan have started taking action against illegal poaching of coral in Japanese waters. Recently, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in regards to taking action and making efforts against Chinese coral poachers working in Japanese waters. The illegal removal of coral in the area is causing maritime tensions between these two nations due the high demand the Japanese coral jewelry in China. The main concern for the Japanese government regarding the illegal mining of coral is that coral mining creates a tremendous long-term loss to a society a…..
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