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Attempting to protect and preserve

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/blogs/on-this-day/2011/06/on-this-day-great-barrier-reef-protected/

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act of 1975 ... marked a world first, because never before had there been a move to protect such a large marine habitat. Even today, the 344,000sq.km park remains the largest of its kind in the world.


A doomed ecosystem?

As a result of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, potentially damaging activities, such as trawler fishing and shipping, are prohibited around the reefs, however this ecosystem still faces serious environmental threats.

"There have been reports of mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef since the early 1980s. The backdrop to this is the steadily and rapidly increasing water temperatures throughout the Coral Sea."

Unfortunately, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has very little control over rising sea temperatures. They face a difficult situation whereby the ecosystem they're working so hard to protect is being affected by wider climate issues.

What is important to realise that we still have time to make the changes to stop this happening, but what that requires is a massive effort from industry and our political leadership."


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Coral as a canary, a sentinel species

Coral reefs in peril as ocean environment is transformed

-- http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/coral-growth-already-being-affected-by-acidifying-oceans-new-research-finds-20160223-gn1vs4.html


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Underwater Heat Wave Devastates Great Barrier Reef

Hardest-hit area includes some of Australia’s most remote and pristine coral

March 29, 2016

CANBERRA, Australia — An underwater heat wave is devastating huge swaths of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, marine researchers have found.


A Nightmare is Unfolding in the Great Barrier Reef -- http://gizmodo.com/a-nightmare-is-unfolding-in-the-great-barrier-reef-1767702006


Great Barrier Reef bleaching may be last wake-up call, marine scientists say


Extensive bleaching has been caused by higher ocean temperatures

To prevent further damage, governments should commit to lowering emissions, an Australian team says


http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2016/0329/Great-Barrier-Reef-bleaching-may-be-last-wake-up-call-marine-scientists-say

"This has been the saddest research trip of my life," James Cook University professor Terry Hughes, the convener of the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce, said in a press release after the team aerially surveyed almost 2,500 miles of the northern Australia reefs.

Coral bleaching is a modern phenomenon, marine scientists say; Over the past 400 years, there's no evidence of bleaching events until the late 20th century. Changing environmental factors like rising sea temperatures can cause the coral to expel their photosynthetic algae, called zooxanthellae, making many turn stark white. Others remain vivid, but have lost the green and brown hues that signal health. Without the symbiotic algae to process sunlight into oxygen and other nutrients, the coral dies.

Sydney, Australia - The Worst Bleaching Event


"What we're seeing now is unequivocally to do with climate change," Professor Justin Martin University of Queensland told the ABC


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-- https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/03/29/huge-swaths-of-the-great-barrier-reef-are-seeing-severe-coral-bleaching-scientists-say/

-- http://www.reuters.com/video/2016/03/29/australias-great-barrier-reef-hit-by-sev?videoId=367910095

-- http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2016/mar/30/link-between-fossil-fuels-and-great-barrier-reef-bleaching-clear-and-incontrovertible-say-scientists


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