Deep Dive into Reading

Is Chichiriviche endangered?


Chichiriviche is a small town located in la Guaria. The entire town’s population livelihood dependes on two economic activities, fishing, and diving tourism. Consequently, the state of the coral reef is paramount in development for both businesses.

Aerial view of Chichiriviche, La Guaria.

The mear existence of the town causes pressure over the reef, but not so much as the externalities and force caused by the small farming over the mountain. These types of farming are “disruptive practices” that cause deforestation and deplete the soil. These crops are bananas and plantains, the farmers only produced in exceedingly small quantities.

This kind of practice caused a lot of environmental problems due to the excesive used of water in lands that are very sloping. When the land is watered all day (as they do), the soil is washed causing runoff that will end in the sea. This runoff takes all the nutrients of the soil making the land unproductive, not only that, but all the sediment will also be deposited over the reef killing it.

Towns like this should understand the economic value of a Coral Reef, if the town or local government are willing to design an appropriate management, a few things should be taken into consideration: First, recognize the net benefits and the size of the economic stake and location of stakeholders, second balancing the economics players in a way that all parties get involved in the project.

Generally, Overfishing and Sediments are the threats of the reef, but in this case, sediments has turn to be the main factor. Thus, the locals or government needs to relocate those farms or help them to acquire technology that diminishes the runoff effect.

As a frequent diver since the 90’s in this spot, I witnessed the deterioration of this wonderful ecosystem. It’s a shame that no action has been taken so far.

Coral Reef are a precious resource that have quite a few functions, such as subsistence fishery, coastal protection, tourism, and biodiversity.

In any case, all factors count toward a rational solution.


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