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When the Gulf Oil spill happened, the public was outraged. There was a worldwide outcry of concern for marine life and marine preservation as the Gulf Oil spill contaminated miles of pristine ocean and its surrounding areas. However, there is an even bigger problem affecting marine life. It is being done for the sake of fashion and exotic home décor. An estimated 70-90% of marine aquariums are collected illegally using poisonous cyanide. Other poisons such as bleach, formalin, and gasoline are also used. This not only reduces biodiversity but also removes key components of the reef ecosystem, including algae grazers, which help maintain ecosystem health. Coral reefs contain some of the largest diversity of life in the world. They are home to thousands of different plants and animals. For example, coral reefs in the Florida Keys sustain 500 species of fish, more than 1700 species of mollusks, five species of sea turtles, and hundreds of species of sponges. Did you know that fish feel pain, as do crustaceans and other invertebrates? Coral reefs are typically found at a depth less than 150 feet so that they are reachable by sunlight. Corals contain microscopic algae, called zooxanthellae, that provide the coral with food and give them their vibrant colors. On average, they grow about 1 mm to 4cm per year. In this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, host, June Stoyer will speak to Dr. Dan Thornhill, Coral Reef Marine Scientist from Defenders of Wild Life (http://www.defenders.org) about this crisis. Stay tuned.
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