Target: Tamayo Marukawa, Minister of the Environment, Japan
Goal: Immediately implement an action plan to save one of the world’s oldest coral reefs from destruction.
The largest coral reef in Japan is at risk of destruction, according to a study recently released by Japan’s Ministry of Environment. The reef and nature reserve, located off of Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, has seen 97 percent of its corals bleached and over 50 percent of its corals destroyed entirely. The study has largely blamed an increase in water temperatures in the area, noting that is something is not done the reef could be decimated entirely.
Coral reefs are diverse underwater ecosystems that provide food and shelter for many of the ocean’s inhabitants. While coral reefs worldwide only add up to an area around half the size of France, they are home to 25 percent of all marine species. Without these reefs, endangered and at-risk species such as rare blue corals could become extinct in these areas.
Local fishermen, who rely on the reef for sustenance, are claiming that they have already seen a decrease in the variety of species caught in the area. Species once abundant are becoming scarcer, while some species have disappeared entirely.
In order to preserve the marine species that live in the reef and the locals that rely on these species for sustenance, it is imperative that this shocking issue is addressed immediately. Without immediate action, the reef and its inhabitants could be destroyed. Sign the petition below to demand that the government formulate a plan to preserve the coral reefs off of Ishigaki Island.
Dear Mrs. Marukawa,
A recent study has revealed that the coral reefs off of Ishigaki Island in Okinawa are at risk of imminent destruction. In past years, 97 percent of the corals have been bleached, while over half have been killed entirely. Coral reefs, which make up a very small part of the ocean as a whole, provide food and shelter for one quarter of the earth’s marine life. Without these reefs, the species that rely on them could become extinct as well.
It is imperative that the government steps in to preserve what remains of these reefs. This will not only benefit countless marine species, but local fishermen who rely on the fish to survive. We, the undersigned, demand that a plan is created and implemented as soon as possible in order to save these vulnerable coral reefs.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kyle Taylor