Why we don’t need to panic over the Great Barrier Reef
Posted On July 3, 2021
Mayport, Queensland – Australia’s Great Barrier Coast is not yet dead, but the scientists and conservationists who have been watching the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspot for nearly a century say it will soon become dead.
A report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Coral Reef Marine Living Institute (GCRM) said that the reef is no longer in imminent danger of being wiped out.
It said that while the reef was in danger of dying, it has already gone from being considered to being “likely to be in danger” within five years.
But the report says the reef could be “potentially more resilient” and could still survive for another 10 to 15 years, and scientists will need to keep monitoring the coral population in order to figure out how to save it.
“The Great Barrier reef has seen unprecedented changes in the past 25 years and its population is now expected to continue to increase,” it said.
The report says that the coral cover in the Great Coral is about 60 per cent less than it was in 1960.
This means that about 20 per cent of the reef’s corals are now “near-extinct”, while another 20 per to 30 per cent are likely to be gone within the next five years, it said, adding that the total number of corals worldwide is estimated at around 40,000.
The Great Coral reef has a coral canopy of more than 1,000 species and more than 10,000 corals.
Researchers are working to understand how the Great Climate Change (GCM) and climate change impacts on coral reefs affect them and their coral populations.
“The coral is the life-support system of our oceans, so we need it to survive.
We need it for all life,” Professor Tim Rafferty, the head of the GCRM said.
He said there are also threats to the Great Reef that are not yet understood.
He said it was important that the Australian Government was listening to the needs of the communities in the Northern Territory, where they have had to work hard to restore a number of communities that were affected by the Great Depression.
Australia has the third-largest coral population after the Great Melanesian Coral and the Great Western Coral, but its recovery is not always going well.
Professor Raffert said the reef should be protected and managed with as much urgency as possible.
“[The] reef should not be closed off to tourists and people looking to exploit the reefs resources for profit,” he said.
“This reef has to be conserved for the benefit of the people who live here.”