Great Barrier Reef

What is a coral reef?

A coral reef is a sea structure made out of living organisms that form a wall together. Stony corals are usually the main organism found in a reef, but other types of skeletal material also join together to form the thick walls. It is also "constructed" by the thousands of fish, sponges, and sea urchins grazing around the area. As these organisms move about, they actually help the reef settle and gain a more stable structure. Waves are also partly responsible for the wall's size and format, as they affect the geology of the formation.

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef?

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, and pulling away from it, and viewing it from a greater distance, you can understand why. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space.

Importance?



The Great Barrier Reef is significant for its scientific value: the health of the Reef points to the health of the ocean, and the creeks and rivers that feed into it, as well as signifying the general effects of pollution. It is of considerable concern that numbers of unique species such as dugong and loggerhead turtles have declined significantly since the 1960s, largely due to human intervention. The Reef shelters many endangered species.

On an economic note, the Great Barrier Reef generates $AU2 billion in tourism dollars every year. All countries trade on their commodities, and tourism is one of Australia's.

Protecting the reef has benefits beyond conservation - it is also an investment in the continued security of coastal communities and provides significant benefits to the Australian economy.
Reef industries, such as tourism and fishing, which contribute approximately $5.4 billion annually to the Australian economy and employ about 63,000 people, are reliant on a healthy environment.To lose the reef would be to lose an enormous source of trade for Australia.



Region

UNESCO calls it a regions - The Great Barrier Reef is a site of remarkable variety and beauty on the north-east coast of Australia. It contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc. It also holds great scientific interest as the habitat of species such as the dugong (‘sea cow’) and the large green turtle, which are threatened with extinction.

threats to health?

Ocean warming, fertiliser run of from farms, the crown of thorns starfish, Acidification of the water as a result of high co2 content.
Preservation- To maintain in safety from injury, peril, or harm; protect.

Conservation- the careful utilization of a natural resource in order to prevent depletion.

Restoration - the act of restoring; renewal, revival


Unique stuff

  • The Great Barrier Reef covers an overall area that is larger than the size of Italy

  • The Great Barrier Reef draws over a million visitors from all over the world each year
  • Around 10 percent of the world’s total fish species can be found just within the Great Barrier Reef


animals

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world. It consists of more than 2,900 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 300 coral cays and thousands of species making it one of the world's most complex and diverse ecosystems. The animals of the Great Barrier Reef include some 1500 species of marine fish, 360 species of hard corals, between 5000 and 8000 species of mollusks, 600 species of echinoderms, 17 species of sea snakes, 1500 species of sponges, 30 species of whales and dolphins, 6 species of marine turtles, 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds which breed on the reef's many small islands.

Damselfish

Bubble Coral

Sea Urchins

loggerhead turtle

humpback whales

zig zag oysters