Volume 1 of the Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2004 report documents how human activities continue to be the primary cause of the global coral reef crisis.
The report details many initiatives aimed at reversing this degradation; by conserving the biodiversity and the economic value and beauty of coral reefs. The report recognises that the major stresses to coral reefs are:
- natural forces that they have coped with for millions of years;
- direct human pressures, including sediment and nutrient pollution from the land, over-exploitation and damaging fishing practices, engineering modification of shorelines;
- and the global threats of climate change causing coral bleaching, rising sea levels and potentially threatening the ability of corals to form skeletons in more acid waters.