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Threats to the Marine Environment

Coral damaged by waves

Faga'alu, American Samoa

Corals must also cope with large waves caused by storms or tsunami.  Disturbed substrate may be colonized by toxic dinoflagellates that have been known to cause Ciguatera fish poisoning and other diseases.  Dead corals eventually break apart, forming coral rubble, or become incorporated into the reef structure by coralline algae.