Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest network of corals has been facing threats due to changes in temperature since 2016. The temperature changes, coral bleaching have posed negative impacts on 900 miles of corals. The coral bleaching is not only affecting the flora and fauna living there but has also affected the economy and tourism industry of Australia.
The tourism industry contributes to about $760 million revenue and attracts more than 1 million tourists. To protect the Great Barrier Reef, the federal government of Australia has raised $18 million funds for newly initiated 6 projects. But, some reports claim that this could be too little or too less to prevent the reef from damage.
The raised funds basically aim to undertake various water quality improvement program to combat erosion. The pesticides and nutrients that are released from farms into the soil have damaged the corals and sea grass. Due to this the number of starfish in that areas are also increasing.
Frydenberg, the Australian environment minister and Jon Brodie from James Cook University claims that $18 million is too less to deal with the problem and it won’t make much change in the prevailing situation.
The report by SBS states that improving the water quality will not be sufficient to eradicate the problem, however, we should consider the climate change impacts instead.
One of the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce said that $8.2 billion funds will be needed to improve the water quality by 2025. The aerial surveys say that two-thirds of Great Barrier Reef are affected due to coral bleaching. This was the fourth mass bleaching incident that was reported in the years 1998, 2002, 2016 and 2017.
What is coral bleaching and how does it take place?
Coral bleaching takes place when a rise in temperature causes the corals to release small, colorful algae from inside making them white. The algae can retain back to their normal color only when there is a drop in the temperature. Prolonged bleaching can cause the death of algae. This bleaching has killed 90 percent of corals present in the Great Barrier Reef. The researchers claim that 2016 was a bad year to the life of corals and 2017 is also proving to be the disastrous one.
The federal government should take prompt steps to protect the life of corals present in the Great Barrier Reef to prevent its loss on an unprecedented scale.