Have you ever been to the Great Barrier Reef? If not you probably might know have read about it in books which show you an amazing diversity of life. I have seen this fascinating splendor of colour 17 years ago and it was one of those moments in life that took my breath away and one I will never forget.
Scientists just confirmed that this year’s bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef was the worst ever. 67 percent of the corals in the northern part have been killed over 700 kilometers of beautiful reefs – gone forever.
The world of corals relies on a symbiosis between corals and algae. The corals fertilize the algae with their metabolic waste and in return they get a part of the vegetable photosynthesis products from the algae. Since most tropical coral species can no longer feed without algae, they are dependent on them. However, if the water temperature rises due to climate change, the corals are under stress and the algae are destroyed because they become poisonous under such conditions. Without their main source of food, they will starve and eventually die.
If entire reefs die off, there will be dramatic consequences for the fish and other marine animals that lose their natural habitat. At the same time, fishermen and employees in the tourism sector are losing their livelihood.
Despite this, new coal mines have been planned – which is a fuel for climate change. As Graeme Kelleher, in charge of designing and protecting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park for the last 16 years says, you cannot have a healthy Great Barrier Reef by expanding the coal industry. Please sign the petition: THE REEF HAS TO BE PUT FIRST