Proposed shipping channel could threaten Colombian coral reef

Global Business

Proposed shipping channel could threaten Colombian coral reef

Coral reefs off the Colombian coast are under serious threat due to a government-planned deep water shipping channel. CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports.

Proposed shipping channel could threaten Colombian coral reef

Proposed shipping channel could threaten Colombian coral reef

Coral reefs off the Colombian coast are under serious threat due to a government-planned deep water shipping channel. CCTV America's Michelle Begue reports.

In February, the Colombian government signed an agreement to advance construction plans for a deep-water channel entrance to Cartagena Bay, one that would allow passage of the larger ship traffic expected from an expanded Panama Canal.

But conservationists say such a channel poses a huge threat to the coral reefs that that thrive there. The threatened coral reefs around Varadero and the Draga and Abanico Islands are unique, scientists said.

While in the Caribbean most coral reefs cover around 10-20 percent of coastal areas, this reef still covers 50-80 percent of the ocean floor.

The reef has survived centuries of natural and human pollutants.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, about a quarter of the world’s coral reefs are damaged beyond repair, with another two-thirds under serious threat.