|Status of coral reefs classified by potential threat from human activities|
Over half of the region’s reefs are at risk. Almost all of the reefs off India and Sri Lanka are under high potential threat. Destructive fishing practices, overexploitation, pollution, sedimentation from land clearings, and coral mining for lime have all been blamed for the widespread degradation of Sri Lankan reefs. Off East Africa, most documented damage to coastal habitats occurs near major towns and cities, due to sewage discharge and overexploitation. Blast fishing and agricultural runoff also pose significant threats. Our results indicate that the great majority of reefs of the Chagos Archipelago and Maldive Islands are under low potential threat (according to this study, close to 90 percent of reefs in the Maldives are at low risk). All told, the Indian Ocean accounts for roughly 15 percent of the world’s mapped reefs.
During review of these final threat classifications, coral reef experts provided the following observation: The reefs in the northeastern Seychelles around Mah