Great Barrier Reef Essay, Research Paper
The Great Barrier Reef is a natural wonder which is a resource used by
human and marine life. This natural resource is under threat by the abuse of
inappropriate measures in the environment. We can still preserve the reef and
continue to use it by taking the appropriate precautions.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world s natural wonders that stretches
2300 kilometers from Australia s Torres Strait border with Papua New
Guinea, south to a point off Bundaberg, central Queensland. It is home to
1500 species of fish with many, if not most of them eating the algae off the
The Great Barrier Reef is a resource which is used mostly for profit and there
is great profit to be gained by tourism and by studying these beautiful pieces
of coral. They may be able to find a way of making it bigger and better to
increase the tourist dollar. The other big business for the Great Barrier Reef is
recreational fishing which has increased sharply in the last ten years. The reef
generates 1 billion a year from tourism, fishing and other ventures.
The main reefs are under threat from the major industries, tourism and
agriculture. 700,000 tourists come to see the reef each year and the numbers
are still increasing by ten percent per year. Fleets of wave piercing
catamaran s helicopters and seaplanes speed thousands daily to outer reefs
that a few year ago entertained only a handful of visitors. This is taking a
great toll on the reef . The boats do not have storage tanks and the human
waste is dumped straight into the ocean. This puts lots of phosphate into the
ocean and the reef . It also puts too much nitrogen which helps algae grow
and algae helps to kill coral.
Also there are major problems with the nitrates and phosphates coming down
the rivers after the cane growers put it on there crops. Major rain can happen
and then this erodes the nitrates and phosphates from the land and into rivers
down the rivers and out to sea. This is a way which kills the reef by making
it brittle and making the water cloudy also more algae appears. Physical
damage from tourists taking little bits of coral with them or an anchor
dropping can break a few corals. This takes a long time to re-grow.
The only way we can keep the reef there in its full glory is by preservation.
This can include things like adding a sewerage treatment plant at places near
or on islands near coral reef so that they don t just pump the waste a long
way out to sea thus helping to kill the coral by breeding algae. If the marine
parks and fisheries department really want to save this reef then they have to
have people in boats making sure people don t take anything there they are
not supposed to and to ensure that boat limits are not ignored. We can stop
the flow of phosphates and nitrates from coming into the river by green
cutting, chopping the part needed and mulching the rest. This can be done
instead of burning the crop. Physical damage can be stopped by more closely
policed laws and by tourists not being allowed to dive without an instructor
who will enforce this and by not taking coral from the reef. Taking into
consideration all four factors if the reef is not looked after properly it will
become just a place of death to coral,and the tourist dollar will be lost.