Coral reef communities around Okinawa have been suffering various disturbances at least since 1972 (Nishihira & Yamazato, 1974). Nishihira (1987) reviewed the disturbance agents of the coral reefs and other coastal Okinawan environments, and listed 3 major agents: (1) Crown-of-thorns Starfish, (2) climatic stresses, and (3) human interferences.

        The high amount of SCUBA activity enjoyed by Americans living on Okinawa is reflected in the number of military SCUBA facilities on the island:

        In addition to the above SCUBA and Snorkeling activities, recreational boating is becoming more and more popular. There are a series of environmental problems associated with boating: anti-fouling paints leaching into harbor waters, anchors being dragged over live corals, the discharge of human wastes, oil, fuel, and plastics into the water.

        All of the preceding recreational problems are collectively placing undue stress upon the fragile Okinawan marine environment.

Copyright © 2007 Robert F. Bolland