Reconnaissance to protect the Great Barrier Reef
Author: Billy Pringle
A group of researchers including the ‘Godfather of Coral’ has launched a new study that aims to save the Great Barrier Reef from further damage.
Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Legacy is taking eight teams of scientists to map remote parts of the reef and test the health of corals. One of the goals of the mission is to find those corals that have survived recent devastating bleaching events. By studying these ‘super corals’, the researchers hope to prevent ongoing damage to the reef.
“This is a very important trip,” said Dr Charlie Veron, who earned the title of ‘Godfather’ after discovering of 20% of the world’s known species.
“We’re actually seeing for ourselves what corals are vulnerable to mass bleaching and what corals are surviving mass bleaching. So Once we know that, we’ll be able to make smart decisions about corals. It’s pivotal.”
Last week, the MY Flying Fish left Port Douglas and began its Journey. The ship is due to arrive at Horn Island on November 27, before returning by December 7. The team will chart the outermost reaches of the reef, heading as far as 200km offshore to do so.
“We’ve assembled an absolute crack team of scientists and researchers from all over Australia, so they can work on the same reef on the same day and answer their little part of the question” said GBR Legacy’s director of science Dean Miller.
This will be the first detailed assessment of the reef since before the last two years of major bleaching, and will involve the use of drones and remote controlled submarines.
Marine biologist Taylor Simpkins is working with the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, which has joined the voyage to study the algae which lives in corals and gives them their colour.
“This is what gives them most of their energy [and] a lot of their food through photosynthesis,” Ms Simpkins said.
“This algae can also end up poisoning the coral and causing it to bleach when the water temperature is really high so we want to look at that”.
GBR Legacy is funding the mission with support from local tourism operators and environmentalist rock band Midnight Oil.
GBR Legacy director and former reef tour operator John Rumney said the past two years of of bleaching events have put him and others into depression, but while there is fear that this summer will see the third bleaching event in a row, there are also signs of hope.
“What we’re trying to do is preserve it so that it is as good as it can be into the future,” Mr Rumney said.
“It’s worth $7 billion a year and we are not doing enough to ensure its future.”
- Make mindful purchases such as Aware Environmental's grey-water friendly laundry products
- Take care not to rinse dangerous chemicals into sinks or stormwater
- Cut back on greenhouse gas emissions by using less electricity and fossil fuels - this cuts back on climate change and its effects on the reef
Subscribe to Positive Environment News
Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
- Bin the (tea) bag »
- Our Schools Tree Day and National Tree Day »
- Trading trash for a hot cuppa »
- Everyday Enviro with Elise - Small changes with big impact »
- Secret Mozambique rainforest piques scientific interest »
- A Walk Sew Good it's still being talked about »
- Everyday Enviro with Elise - Choosing progress over perfection with Lush »
- Kenyan business Ocean Sole is flipping the flop from waste to art »
- Everyday Enviro with Elise - Parliament on King »
- Disused and dirty swamp transformed into vibrant wetlands in the heart of suburbia »
- Threatened koalas receive NSW rescue package »
- Mexico City is bartering its recyclable waste for food »
- Super coral to resist ocean warming »
- Beach cleanup leads to turtle comeback »
- The bush stone-curlews are back in town »
- Dutch scientists developing smart app to measure water pollution »
- The Swedish fitness craze that's good for you and the environment »
- RMIT develops new proton battery prototype »
- Planet Ark's flagship recycling info service is getting a makeover »
- Italian sheepdogs become little penguin protectors »
- An innovative solution to the problem of ocean pollution »
- Indigenous women helping to conserve glowing turtles »
- Taking sustainable fashion to new heights »
- HP's plastic recycling program is turning Haitian pollution into printer cartridges »
- Cleaning up the Cove »
- A year in review - Australian natives made some great comebacks in 2017 »
- Marine plastic pollution: a personal perspective »
- Vast new ocean reserve created off coast of Mexico »
- Plastics inspiration: reasons for hope »
- Koalas found in national park after decades of absence »
- Flying Dutch claim victory for the 7th time in the World Solar Challenge »
- Top Australian sustainability award winners announced »
- Doing well by doing good: a recipe for sustain-ability »
- The calming effect of contact with nature »
- The Australian second-hand economy is booming »
- Fighting waste with Fortunate Food »
- World's largest trees given new hope for preservation »
- Nearly 400 new species discovered in the Amazon »
- How far would you go for fair trade fashion? »
- Brush-tailed phascogale makes a surprise appearance on revegetated islands »
- Facing down fast fashion with up-cycled clothes »
- Decades of community action brings a disappearing frogmouth back from the brink »
- Back from the brink: recent 'baby boom' offers new hope for endangered southern right whale »
- Picky plants: Growing green in difficult environments »
- How indoor plants can give city-slickers a literal breath of fresh air »
- Island sanctuary brings hope to dwindling quokka population »
- 1.5 million people, 12 hours, 66 million trees: India's commitment to The Paris Agreement »
- The little Brown Antechinus makes a comeback at Sydney's North Head »
- 81-Year-Old Lebanese woman inspires a nation to recycle »
- How you can make the most of Planet Ark's new research into outdoor learning »
- Capturing Carbon to Tackle Climate Change »
- Futureproofing the Lockyer Valley with 20'000 trees »
- Green Clean for Sydney's Opera House »
- Dugong Numbers on the Rise Again in the Great Barrier Reef »
- Answering the Call to Connect With Nature »
- Scientist Discover Massive New Forests »
- Australia's First Rescued Food Supermarket is a Win-win for the Planet and Those in Need. »
- 'Creature Compost' - Zoo Reduces Landfill and Generates Income »
- Travel Companies Put Kindness Before Profit in Animal Tourism »
- Thousands of Birds Descend Upon Inland Lakes »
- Trees Help Beat Urban Heat »
- Chile's National Parks Expand by 10 Million Acres »
- How A Music Festival Convinced 1400 To Take Their Rubbish Home »
- Old Televisions Converted to Bee Hotels »
- What if Rivers Could Sue? »
- Access to Nature Should be a Human Right - Report »
- Rock-Wallabies Fighting Back »
- Scientists Use Tasmanian Devil's Immune System to Beat Cancer »
- New Coral Reef Rewrites Textbooks »
- Launch of Positive Environment News »