The Coral Reef Times

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The Reef in Grief

Scientists are astonished at the disastrous effect that the crown of thorns starfish, cyclones and other natural disasters have on the Great Barrier Reef. The reef is in terrible danger of becoming eradicated. Scientists believe that they will be able to communicate with marine life in the future via sonic sound waves and so get a better understanding of the reef and its inhabitants. This will help scientists know how to stop or greatly reduce the population of the crown of thorns starfish and how to prepare for cyclones.


Climate Change changes everything!

Climate change is causing natural disasters like floods and cyclones to occur more often because climate change disturbs regular weather patterns. It is now proven that humans cause climate change through their polluting lifestyle. Floods and cyclones wash large amounts of fertiliser onto the reef creating plankton for the crown of thorns starfish to feed on. This adversely affects the Great Barrier Reef because the crown of thorns starfish eat the coral on the reef. Therefore the more crown of thorns starfish on the reef, the less coral there will be.


Floods and cyclones also cause lots of flotsam (bits of trees and planks of wood, netting and plastic containers, empty steel drums and tyres) on the ocean's surface. This water pollution also destroys the coral on the Great Barrier Reef.


Overfishing

Overfishing of the maori wrasse fish is causing an increase in the population of the crown of thorns starfish on the reef because this fish is a natural predator of the crown of thorns starfish.


What can be done to save the Great Barrier Reef?

Triton snails, pufferfish, maori wrasse and triggerfish love to eat the crown of thorns starfish. If there were more of these natural predators on the reef, the population of the crown of thorns starfish would decrease which would be brilliant for the coral reef.


With further funding, the program which aims to communicate with all the sea creatures, should begin in about a decade. However this is indefinite and so is the expected time that it will take. We can only live in hope.