Although many of the triggers of coral bleaching occur at the global scale, it may be possible at a site to influence the bleaching response. Reducing sources of stress that promote damage or disease, or that threaten coral health, can improve bleaching resistance in some coral species.
Promote healthier coral reefs by reducing impacts of the following sources of stress:
- Overfishing, which studies indicate may inhibit coral recovery from bleaching and compromise coral community health
- Coastal development, which destroys habitat and magnifies the negative impacts of human activities
- Pollution, such as garbage that can smother corals, and sewage which can introduce disease and excess nutrients
- Agricultural run-off (often containing pesticides and fertilizers), which can increase nutrients leading to high algae cover, and smother corals
- Deforestation and land use, which often promote erosion and increase silt loads
- Urban waste such as sewage and petrochemical products from street drainage
- Destructive fishing practices, such as the use of poisons and explosives or methods that break corals
- Destructive tourism activities (e.g., trampling and overexploitation)
Reduction of these pressures will promote coral health and increase resistance.