On Saturday, scientists sent a letter to the Australian government to demand actions aimed at the preservation of world’s coral reefs. The request is founded in the detrimental consequences reefs are currently suffering.

The letter, appealing for proper attention to the coral reef’s situation, was signed by presidents of the International Society for Reef Studies and sent to Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. Grosso modo, the letter asks for proper actions to conserve the nation’s reefs and to design strategies to stop fossil fuel consumption.

Great Barrier Reef
The image shows the severity of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef bleaching. Credit: Weather.com

It seems like coral bleaching (a stress caused by environmental changes) is linked to the recent damages in coral reefs. Such environmental scenario has been registered by scientists in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef included in the coral reef plea

Considered as one of the seven wonders of the natural world, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. Located in the Coral Sea, the reef is composed of a very diverse marine life. It counts with 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands extended over a  344,400 square kilometre area. Keeping in mind the magnitude of such important coral reef for environmental purposes, the letter asking for actions to preserve world’s coral reef includes, as expected, the world’s largest coral reef.

“This year has seen the worst mass bleaching in history, threatening many coral reefs around the world including the whole of the northern Great Barrier Reef, the biggest and best-known of all reefs. The damage to this Australian icon has already been devastating. In addition to damage from greenhouse gasses, port dredging and shipping of fossil fuels across the Great Barrier Reef contravene Australia’s responsibilities for stewardship of the Reef under the World Heritage Convention,” representatives from the International Society for Reef Studies urged the Australian government to address its attention towards Great Barrier Reef.

Terry Hughes, a professor at James Cook University, affirmed that the alarming situation climate change is causing natural resources needs concerns, efforts, and actions from everybody. According to him, half of the corals’ death have been registered in the last three months. What’s worst is that what have caused the death of corals is the dangerous consequence of climate change originated by foil fossil consumption.

Hughes, who is also a president of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia focuses his studies in the northern third of the Great Barrier Reef area. He has noticed that the zone of the reef that has suffered the worst consequences has been an extremely remote one. Which means that there is no way of human participation in the loss registered in that reef. It is an area of the Great Barrier Reef that has very little fishing pressure, does not present pollution traces nor coastal development.

According to scientists, although there are studies, programs and initiatives for coral reefs, the scientific community, and environmental associations require financial support to conduct proper actions and measures to face the issue.

Source: Washington Post