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Plastic in the oceans increasing risk of disease in coral reefs

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Plastic in the oceans increasing risk of disease in coral reefs

More than 11 billion pieces of plastic are lodged within coral reefs in the Asia-Pacific region. According to a new study published in the journal Science, as this plastic gets tangled, it often cuts the coral, increasing the risk of infection and disease outbreaks by as much 89 percent. 

The study, which looked at 124.000 reef-building corals from 159 reefs, estimates that the number of plastic pieces caught in Asia-Pacific coral could increase by 40 percent by 2025, further increasing the risk of disease. More than 275 million people rely on coral for food, coastal protection, tourism income and cultural value.