As reported by the NY Daily News, the corals were sold to the construction industry for their high calcium carbonate content (commonly used as an industrial binding material). Harvest for the construction industry would entail indiscriminate, large-scale coral harvest, unlike the selective harvest for the aquarium trade. Still, this news should serve as a reminder for us to be more conscientious with our coral purchases. Buy captive grown whenever possible; With the number of proven, beautiful specimens available these days, there really is very little – if any – reason to purchase wild, reef-building coral colonies.
via NY Daily News