Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Shipping and the Great Barrier Reef Essay - 4636 Words

Shipping and the Great Barrier Reef Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is an unparalleled marine ecosystem that holds rank as one of the world’s most valuable natural wonders. The abundance of sea life offers both intrinsic and physical benefits, but unfortunately this extraordinary habitat is now threatened from several different angles. One of the greatest threats to the GBR is the presence of popular shipping routes which surround and penetrate the reef. These ships naturally pollute the GBR, but the severest danger lies in the possibility of wrecks spilling oil or other hazardous cargos. History offers many examples of shipwrecks with outcomes that could have been devastating although there has not yet been a major†¦show more content†¦In statistical terms, the GBR is a habitat for 400 coral species, 500 seaweed species, 4,000 mollusk species, 1,500 fish species, 20 sea snake species, six turtle and dugong species, and over 200 bird species. It is additionally visited by about 30 speci es of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. The GBR is vital to the survival of many of these species, such as the dugong, whose GBR population is one of the largest in the world. It is not surprising that such an extensive ecosystem was declared a World Heritage Area in 1981 by meeting all four of the natural heritage demands. These criteria involve geological representations of evolution, current biological and ecological processes, outstanding beauty, and considerable biodiversity (Chadwick and Storrie p.1-2, CRC p.1-2, Guynup p.22). Judging by such natural brilliance it is no wonder coral reefs are considered the â€Å"rainforests of the sea,† but the GBR furthermore offers many economic benefits to the humans that utilize it. Aside from the shipping industry, the GBR is also fundamental to Australia’s fishing and tourism industries. Fishing is Queensland’s fifth largest primary industry with about fifty million dollars generated every year by commercial outfits operating on or inland of the GBR. Some of the most common species caught are finfish, barramundi,Show MoreRelatedEssay on The Great Barrier Reef1258 Words   |  6 PagesThe Great Barrier Reef is one of the wonders of the natural world. It was declared a World Heritage area in 1981 and added to the National Heritage List in 2007. Unfortunately, the Great Barrier Reef faces many threats. Pollution caused by direct or indirect human activities are major threats to Australian reefs. (source 1). Two million tourists visit the coral reef every year. This is great for the economy; however it can have huge negative impacts on the coral reef. 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