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We all have a part to play in saving coral

I refer to the report “Coral bleaching forces closure of Sisters’ Islands dive trails” (Aug 22).

Darren Chan Keng Leong

I refer to the report “Coral bleaching forces closure of Sisters’ Islands dive trails” (Aug 22).

Climate change plays a significant role in coral bleaching, as fluctuations in water temperature and changes in the sea’s chemistry could cause corals to lose their ability to sustain the tiny algae they survive on.

It is important to take precautions to monitor the situation, to ensure that there are no significant stressors that may affect the biodiversity of the area.

In the event of sustained bleaching, the National Parks Board (NParks) may consider moving rare local species elsewhere, to save them.

NParks can even consider growing coral in controlled environments — conditions that could make them more robust against the climate change — and transplanting them to the reef.

Given that there are dive trails on Sisters’ Islands, NParks should also run reef clean-up operations, as pollution in the ocean also vastly affect the health of the reefs. Also, it is essential that proper waste disposal methods are practised by fish farms, as well as the public, as these are small steps that can help reduce the amount of pollution at the source.

In addition, it is important that the dive operators are engaged in safe and responsible dive practices. Prolonged contact with corals may damage them, which in turn affects the marine life that depends on the reef for sustenance.

Perhaps NParks could work with an organisation like the World Wildlife Fund Singapore to certify “reef-friendly” businesses, to promote the protection of the environment.

Active coral reef ecosystem management methods can also be shared with members of the public who are interested in diving at these trails, so that they are aware and motivated to respect the environment.

Everyone has a part to play in protecting the coral reefs and the environment, and taking precautions and measures is the responsibility of all.

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