Great Barrier Reef

The coast of Queensland, Australia

Main Information about the reef:

Putting it together...

How human have affected the Great Barrier Reef...

Over-fishing, pollution and global warming are main factors that are tipping the equilibrium of the ecosystems within the coral reefs. So far a fifth of the reefs have been destroyed and are not recovering, a quarter of the reefs are endangered and another quarter face long-term collapse (Spotts). Global warming that has been induced by human activity has affected the reefs by creating warmer temperatures in the waters that will have adverse effects on these highly productive ecosystems. Aggressive fishing has caused major disruptions to the food web and in turn will have a negative domino effect. Overexploitation of marine life disrupts the entire stability of oceanic life because it depletes keystone plant and animal life. Pollution is another major threat to the health and stability of the Great Barrier Reef’s ecosystem. Development and farming off of Australia’s coast is harming the coral reef habitat with dangerous runoff and sedimentation that may eventually destruct the fragile coral reefs.
There are 1,500 species of fish in The Great Barrier Reef. There are 411 types of corals in the Great Barrier Reef. Between 5000 and 8000 species of molluscs, 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.