People from around the world travel to coral reef destinations each year, attracted by the beautiful white sand beaches and warm, turquoise waters. The economic contribution of tourism to coral reefs is estimated at $36 billion to the global economy each year—this revenue supports millions of jobs in restaurants, hotels, tour operations, transportation companies, and more.
Critical species that depend on coral reefs, like parrotfish, play an important role in bringing this much-needed revenue to coastal communities. Parrotfish feed on corals, and break them down to excrete the popular white sand that tourists flock to. A single large parrotfish can produce 840 pounds of sand each year.