Coral reef ecosystems are not only biologically rich but also a source of natural beauty, and they provide countless services to the coastal communities they support. If a reef degrades or is destroyed, the services it once provided will be reduced or eliminated, possibly forever. Coral reefs provide spawning and nursery grounds for economically important fish populations to thrive. Coral reefs help protect coastal communities from storm surge and wave erosion, which can increase as sea levels rise.

But do you know your sunscreen cream is killing sea creatures like corals?

As the research shows, most sunscreen products often contain chemical substances such as benzophenone and octyl methoxycinnamate, which can seriously interfere with the reproduction and growth cycle of corals, resulting in coral bleaching. These ingredients will be affected by human activities at sea, bathing, and washing faces. It is discharged from the seawater and sewage system, flows into the sea and is absorbed by corals. So corals will be harmed by the sunscreen cream that people wear.

Our show ‘sea sustainability’ calls on everyone to avoid using chemical sunscreen cream, instead, you can use physical sun protection. And please do not throw rubbish or put polluted water into the sea. Maybe you can ride a bike instead of driving a car to reduce carbon emissions. So the climate won’t change so fast. By the way, stop excessive amounts of fishing and cultivated coral can help corals as well.

Yumeng Wu

An undergraduate student at the University of Queensland, majors in the Bachelor of Communication.