Benefits of Biodiversity to people: Sodwana Reef, Coral reefs

Presented by T Raphoto; T Kutu; K Tsimane; R.L Moeketsi

 Provisioning Services

The Sodwana bay coral reefs provide a vast amount of species and marine life which offers people a food source with a wide variety of animals and even plants to be consumed such as clams, crab, molluscs, oysters and other edibles. There are different types of fish (such as sardines, clown fish, etc.) which can be cooked in restaurants or processed into tin fish. The marine plant life can contribute to the scrumptious dish called sushi. Seaweed from these reefs can be utilized in day spas as seaweed wraps, other plant life and materials can be used to synthesise stronger and cheaper clothing materials and textiles. Before we can use any of these resources they need to be harvested from their natural environment which allows for job opportunities in fishing and transport of these resources, they will also need to be processed and packaged for human use which adds to the amount of jobs created by these coral reefs. The organisms living in these reefs will also need to be studied for scientific purposes which creates jobs in the field of science

Regulating Services

Just like other coral reefs the Sodwana bay coral reefs prevent coastal erosion by reducing the impact of pounding waves on the shoreline which prevents damage to houses along the shoreline. Corals in coral reefs grow best in warm, shallow, clear, sunny and agitated waters this means the climate where coral reefs are situated is a stable and warm climate. Coral reefs also act as a natural barrier protecting coastal cities, communities and beaches from floods because they grow in shallow waters. Corals tend to secrete mucus which contains diseases such as black band disease and red band disease; these diseases can be studied and reverse engineered to make cures or anti-viruses.

Cultural Services

The vast amount of species living in the Sodwana bay coral reef has allowed Coral Divers Sodwana Bay South Africa, which is a 5 star Gold Palm IDC Centre, to teach and provide people with the beautiful experience of coral diving through development courses. People can stay at this resort and take part in recreational activities such as quad-biking, deep sea fishing, snorkelling, micro lighting and taking trips to nearby lakes.

Support Services

Corals in the Sodwana bay coral reefs recycle nutrients; this is how they keep the soil, in which they live, fertile. They secrete CaCO3 to build their protective structure (exoskeletons). The dead plant material from corals fall onto the sea bed and decompose, causing the soil to be fertile.

Bibliography keecoral-reefs


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