This fish species is so important to our reef system, they help control algae populations and clear new spots for baby coral to attach and grow. This is a natural process call Bioerosion. Protecting our Parrotfish helps protect our reef. Without them, algae and seaweed would overpopulate our corals and suffocate them. Without Parrotfish, our coral reefs may die. On the IUCN Red List, many Parrotfish species are list as threatened, and face a high risk of regional extinction. Here in Belize, Parrotfish are protected, a great step in the right direction to protect our reef systems and our Jewel.
A fascinating and vital group of fish, who spend up to 90% of their day feeding upon the algae in coral reefs. A Parrotfish is Diurnal, meaning they are awake during the day. At night, they coat themselves in a mucous cocoon to mask their scent and protect them from predators. Parrotfish have teeth compactly set together to form a beak, as well as down their throats as part of their digestive system. A single Parrotfish can produce up to a Ton of sand in a year. A Parrotfish needs to feed on the algae on coral reef constantly to help file their teeth down, otherwise their teeth will continue to grow.
Photograph by Anna Williams
Click here to comment on this picture.