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The spectacular landscapes and natural riches of the Coral Triangle are under threat.

Overfishing, climate change, unsustainable tourism, habitat destruction, poor governance are some of the threats that are affecting marine diversity and the livelihoods of people who depend on it.

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU) fishing is a serious global problem that contributes to overfishing, creates unfair competition, and impedes sustainable fisheries.


More than 85% of reefs in the Coral Triangle are directly threatened by local human activities.
About 79% of reef fish reproductive gatherings have stopped forming or are declining
These problems are already happening and will worsen if suitable actions are not taken. Below, learn about what WWF is doing to address some of the major issues that are threatening the Coral Triangle's biodiversity. 

Climate Change

Scientific studies show that without sufficient action on climate change, coral reefs in the Coral Triangle will disappear by 2100, the ability of the region’s coastal environments to feed people will decline by 80%, and the livelihoods of around 100 million people will have been lost or severely impacted.

► More about climate change in the Coral Triangle
What WWF is doing about climate change in the Coral Triangle
Tropical Storm Guillaume in the southwestern Indian Ocean close to Mauritius and Madagascar. Waves in the region were as high 24 feet.

© MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

Overfishing / Illegal fishing

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is one of a range of factors that is putting fish stocks in the Coral Triangle and Pacific region at risk. Several million tonnes of fish are taken by IUU fishing each year in the Asia-Pacific, representing a significant portion of the total catch from the Pacific Ocean.

► What WWF is doing about overfishing/illegal fishing in the Coral Triangle


Unsustainable Tourism

Unsustainable tourism, often in the form of mass tourism, can negatively impact the Coral Triangle's delicate balance in many ways: pressure on nature's carrying capacity, exploitative development of coastal areas, "leakage" of benefits away from local populations, cultural and social degradation, higher costs to service tourists, and direct environmental damage. 

What WWF is doing about unsustainable tourism in the Coral Triangle
Ferries and cruise ships operating in the Baltic Sea carry approximately 80 million passengers each year. The waste water produced in these vessels is currently estimated to contain 460 tons of nitrogen and 150 tons of phosphorus, substances that add to the eutrophication of the sea.

© WWF Finland/ Antii Siponen

Habitat degradation

The coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds that are home to the Coral Triangle's biodiversity are considerably threatened by direct human impacts (e.g. pollution). The consequences of climate change, such as the warming and the acidification of the ocean, could make things even worse, for both wildlife and the communities that depend directly on healthy ecosystems.  

What WWF is doing about habitat degradation in the Coral Triangle
Coral bleaching due to temperature rise, Indo-Pacific Ocean.

© WWF / Jürgen FREUND

Irresponsible Investments

Trade in the Coral Triangle hinges on the availability of funds provided by financial institutions to businesses small and large. Too often, these are provided without the appropriate screens or safeguards to ensure that businesses operate according to sound environmental and social principles.  

► What WWF is doing about irresponsible investments through sustainable fisheries, blue economy and nature-based tourism in the Coral Triangle.
Molinos de viento hechos de las 5 principales monedas del mundo, representando la inversión en energías renovables. 
Toy windmills cut from five major world currency banknotes over blue sky, representing finance and financial investment in renewable energy.

© Shutterstock / pryzmat / WWF

Extractive Industries

When not properly managed, extractive industries such as oil and gas can generate hazardous pollution where they operate. Mine tailings (the residue from mining operations) can smother fragile ecosystems such as reefs, killing off marine wildlife and jeopardizing local people's ability to harvest from the sea for their livelihood.

What is WWF doing about Extractive Industries
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration there are almost 4,000 offshore oil & gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The Deepwater Horizon is not the first oil spill in the Gulf and it is not the largest. That honour belongs to...

© Michael Sutton / WWF

Poor governance

Weak or ineffective policies, lack of enforcement of existing laws and regulations, limited institutional resources and capacity can undermine governments’ ability to effectively protect and sustainably manage their natural resources. 

► More on governance
► What is WWF doing about poor governance in the Coral Triangle 
UN meeting, UN Photo_Jean-Marc Ferré

© UN Photo_Jean-Marc Ferré