Australia’s Great barrier Reef threatened
In the Great Barrier Reef, larger fish inside no-take areas produce disproportionately more eggs and larvae than in areas that are fished. Besides their contribution to sustaining fisheries, no-take areas can also improve habitat quality, protect ecosystem structure and function, and maintain ecosystem goods and services.
In 2005, WWF helped achieve a huge conservation success with an increase in the protected area cover of Australia’s famed Great Barrier Reef (GBR) from four to thirty-three percent, totalling 13 million ha, plus a zoning plan to ensure human impact on the GBR was sustainable. But plans to build coal loading terminals, increase shipping and weaken coastal protection laws threaten the future of this iconic natural site. Even its World Heritage status is at risk, as is the US$6 billion reef-based tourism industry. WWF, with the Australia Marine Conservation Society, have released a scorecard rating Australia’s reef management and are calling on the Federal and Queensland governments to halt approvals of further major development schemes until a plan to secure the GBR’s future is agreed.