The National Marine Fisheries Serviceon Friday proposed listing 66 coral species in the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans as endangered or threatened, the Associated Press reports.
Corals provide habitats that support fisheries, generate jobs through recreation and tourism, and protect coastlines from erosion. Research indicates that climate change and human activities are putting corals at risk, said Jane Lubchenco, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Listing the species would not prohibit fishing or diving near corals, but it could outlaw harming, wounding, killing or collecting them. The fisheries service will be seeking public feedback on the proposed protections over the next 90 days.