reefs attract millions of visitors, but uncontrolled tourism and
coastal development have caused pollution and resulted in heavy
damage to the reefs.
many irresponsible visitors damage or destroy corals by touching,
walking or standing on them. Many tourists collect and/or buy
corals, sponges, seashells or other reef animals as well as jewelry
and sculptures made out of them. Excessive collecting decimates
the reef species and throws reef ecosystems out of balance.
Hotels and resorts contribute to water pollution by not properly
treating their sewage and wastewater, and many tourist boats crush
coral while throwing their anchors onto reefs, or spill oil and
gas into the sea.