The decline of the parrotfish is one of the reasons behind the reefâ€™s decline.
PHOTO BY DON RHODES
While drifting along on a shallow ledge on Conch Reef, I spot a group of colorful parrot fish chomping away at algae and other growth on the coral.
A bit farther I see a massive plume of white debris blast from the tail end of a large parrot fish.
“What goes in must come out,” I think.
Turns out parrot fish, while eating algae and seaweed, are doing their part to keep the reef healthy.
Without them and other sea-dwelling plant eaters, algae and seaweed would overgrow the reefs, suppress coral growth and threaten the incredible array of life that depends on reefs for shelter and food.
Healthy coral reefs are important for the Florida Keys.
They provide shoreline protection and support our tourism, sport fishing and diving businesses.
A detailed report,
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