The Great Barrier Reef distinguishes itself with an exceptional collection of astonishing underwater flora and fauna. It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The reef is the biggest assemblage of coral reefs in the world which contains 400 types of coral, over 1500 species of fish and 4000 types of molluscs. Unfortunately, global warming and human activities damage the reef. It has lost up to half of its coral in the last 30 years. Moreover, in 2016, the heat waves killed or damaged much of the coral and this damage corresponds to a distance of about 805 kilometres.
So, Australia committed to help saving the Great Barrier Reef and to support the preservation with $379 million. Climate change is the main cause of the existing situation. Meanwhile the World Wildlife Fund claims that a similar amount of money is necessary only to maintain the water quality each year. Moreover, the Great Barrier Reef is a fishing and tourism resource that provides the Australian economy with $3.7 billion annually.
This funding is based on the purpose to ensure remove-a permanent monitoring of the prosperity of the reef. For this reason, the Australian government collaborates with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation in order to assure remove- an adequate use of the largest monetary support in the country’s history. The funding will be used for the conservation and management of the reef, which concentrates on water quality, prevention of predators and expansion of reef recovery.
Australian Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg claims that “millions of dollars will go into science and to better data management and to be able to test the impacts on the reef”. The knowledge will help to protect and improve the reef by preventing possible harm or threats of this sort.
“Coral bleaching occurs when coral polyps expel algae that live inside their tissues. Normally, coral polyps live in an endosymbiotic relationship with the algae and that relationship is crucial for the coral and hence for the health of the whole reef. Bleached corals might continue to live for some time. But as the algae provide the coral with up to 90% of its energy, after expelling the algae the coral begins to starve.” Bleaching is caused by global warming when sea water temperature is above average. And it is a global issue. After bleaching, not every coral succeeds to stay live. However, if the temperature stays high, there is no chance of recovery. (Wikipedia)
The Great Barrier Reef suffered greatest bleaching appearances in 2016 and 2017. It damaged 1,500 km area of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Former bleaching events were noticed in 1998 and 2002.