There has been much news recently about the growing bleaching events going on in the world’s coral reefs associated with ocean warming and acidification. The massive damage to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is an ongoing tragedy.
From melting Arctic ice to dying coral reefs to rising sea levels, there was no shortage of grim environmental news in 2016. But the news wasn’t all bad. There were several bright spots for the environment last year as well.
The regal blue tang is one of the most common and most popular marine aquarium fish in the world. In the U.S., they have been ranked as high as the 10th most imported fish species out of over 2,000 that enter the country. Apart from aquarium hobbyists, millions of people now associate blue tangs with the character Dory in a couple of popular animated films.
Most recent news about coral reefs around the world has been bad news. There has been unprecedented coral bleaching in places like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The effects of climate change – including warming temperatures and rising seas – as well as the recent El Niño event have led to damaged reefs across the globe.
Coral reefs are great tourist attractions. Nearly a million species of fish, invertebrates and algae live in these biodiversity hotspots and they generate billions of dollars yearly from the tourism industry.
Most people listening to this have seen a saltwater aquarium before, and many of those likely owned one at some point. Maybe you still do. The bright coral and even brighter fish can be found in offices, restaurants, hotels, and homes all over the world.