Australia downgrades Great Barrier Reef to very poor status

  1. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has released Outlook Report 2019 that examine the Great Barrier Reef’s health, pressures, and likely future.
  2. The long-term outlook of the reef has been downgraded to “very poor” for the first time.
  3. According to the report, the greatest threat to the Reef is climate change. The other main threats are associated with coastal development, land-based run-off, and direct human use (such as illegal fishing).
  4. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest and longest coral reef system. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. It stretches for 2,300km from the tip of Cape York in the north to Bundaberg in the south in Australia. It is home to 400 types of coral, 1500 species of fish and 4000 types of molluscs. It also holds great scientific interest as the habitat of species such as the dugong and the large green turtle, which are threatened with extinction.
  5. It is a World Heritage Area since 1981 (the world’s first reef ecosystem to be recognised by UNESCO)
  6. The Australian government in 2018, announced its largest-ever investment in the coral reef: over half a billion Australian dollars ($378 million). The money is to be used to counter water pollution, combat coral-eating starfish, increase public awareness, boost reef monitoring, and improve the environmental impact of surrounding businesses