Local residents of Kumejima, a town in Okinawa of southwestern Japan, recently discovered an immense and thriving colony of corals 100 kilometers off the coast of the prefecture’s main island. In a recent follow-up survey, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that this colony is not only large, but it is also impressive because of its vitality, which is unusual since many coral colonies around the world are known to be threatened by bleaching due to global warming.
These colonies, on the other hand, appear to enjoy certain conditions unique to the Okinawa island region that include warm subtropical waters carried by the Kuroshio Current, an absence of silt from runoff and the water’s high salinity, all of which are necessary for large coral growth.
In a related study, Spanish and French scientists observing coral colonies in the Mediterranean discovered that the recovery of ailing coral health was directly proportional to the length of time and restorative conditions of being left undisturbed from fishing and other human activities.
According to another new finding by UK researchers, the survival of coral reefs rests in part on the remarkable ability of baby corals to perceive sounds emitted from parent colonies.
Believed until now to drift aimlessly, the tiny young organisms actually detect and navigate towards the sounds of activity coming from coral reef habitats.
However, participating study scientists have expressed concern that human-made noise from boats, shipping, and other activities could interfere with this vital lifesaving skill.
Meanwhile, the Japanese scientists who discovered the Kumejima coral are also advocating the region’s protection to help in replenishing depleted regions.
Our appreciation World Wildlife Fund and British, Spanish and French researchers for your findings of these ocean wonders. We pray that such precious coral colonies will continue in their pristine state and that all marine ecosystems may likewise be allowed to flourish through humans’ protection.
In an October 2009 videoconference in Indonesia, Supreme Master Ching Hai urged for the conservation of Earth’s coral reefs through our conscientious actions.