This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Shipping And The Great Barrier Reef

4812 words - 19 pages

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 disaster. These events have helped to inspire various regulations aiming to curb the risk of any major incident. Nevertheless, there still remains more room for protective measures in order to insure the safety of such an irreplaceable treasure.

The Great Barrier Reef

The GBR formed about 9,000 years ago during the last interglacial period. As with other coral reefs, it is based upon the structure of billions of coral polyps, and the GBR is the longest coral reef system ever to exist. It is consequently the largest structure created by living creatures and so massive that it can be viewed from outer space (Guynup p.22). The GBR includes 2,900 separate reefs and hundreds various islands and cays. The GBR stretches over 2,000 kilometers up the coast of Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP), established in 1975, includes nearly 350,000 square kilometers, which is over half the area covered by all of the protected areas in mainland Australia (Chadwick and Storrie p.1, CRC p.1).

This vast environment serves as the home to an incalculable number of organisms ranging from the microscopic algae zooxanthellae, which transmit energy to the coral, to the bulky dugongs that can reach three meters in length and 400 kilograms in weight. 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 species 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 “rainforests of the sea,” but the GBR furthermore offers many economic benefits to the humans that...

Find Another Essay On Shipping and the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef Essay

1089 words - 4 pages The Great Barrier Reef, which is the world's greatest nature reef, the total length is more than 2000km along Queensland's North-east coast. As the world's largest and most complex reefs, it has thousands of beautiful coral reefs and hundreds of continental islands. (GBRMPA, 2005). Apart from its natural beauty, tourism is the largest commercial activity in the Great Barrier Reef region, it is about 2 million tourists and 500 commercial vessels

The Great Barrier Reef Essay

1172 words - 5 pages The Great Barrier Reef is 350,000 kilometers long, the world’s largest living organism, and is home to 6,000+ species, but these species could be in danger. According to recent research, the Great Barrier Reef is on the verge of dying because of reckless human behavior. The reef is beneficial to not only ocean life, but also people and the mainland. There are also ways to people can preserve the reef. Some scenarios that have affected the

great barrier reef

1619 words - 7 pages An unprejudiced observer might well be fearful that in the not too distant future our children may be able to learn about the coral reefs only from books and documentary films, for one of nature's most unique habitats will have vanished from the face of the Earth. (Patrick White 1957) The Great Barrier Reef is said to be the jewel of Australia. However Australian lifestyles have had a significant impact on the reef since European settlers first

Acanthaster planci on the Great Barrier Reef

4074 words - 16 pages Acanthaster planci on the Great Barrier Reef The organism Acanthaster planci, commonly known as the crown of thorns starfish, has a drastic effect on the health of coral reefs all over the world, including the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. This poisonous echinoderm feeds upon the coral, and although this should be a healthy and natural part of the ecosystem, the population explosions of the starfish have caused devastation in many

The Great Barrier Reef -Outline 2 physical characteristics of the Great Barrier Reef

2500 words - 10 pages -Outline 2 physical characteristics of the Great Barrier ReefThe Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system. It is located on the northeast coast of Queensland next to the Pacific Ocean. The reef extends from the Torres Straight Islands to Sandy Cape near Fraser Island. Nearly 3,000 individual coral reefs and some 300 small coral islands form the reef, which ranks as the world's largest structure made by living organisms .The

The Effects of Global Warming on the Great Barrier Reef

922 words - 4 pages polyps, and a skeleton containing filamentous green algae surrounds them. The photosynthetic zooxanthellae and green algae transfer food energy directly to the coral polyps, while acquiring scarce nutrients from the coral. The numerous micro habitats of coral reefs and the high biological productivity support a great diversity of other life. The Great Barrier Reef The Great Barrier Reef is a chain of coral reefs in the Coral Sea, off the

The Australian Great Barrier Reef: Threats, Stakeholders, Government Plans

657 words - 3 pages and heat the water temperature (Global Warming). The coral cannot survive the warmer sea temperatures.Other threats:-Crown of thorns starfish-Shipping-Tourism-Fishing (commercial and recreational)STAKEHOLDERS:- Local Residents: people who live nearby the reef or its catchment areas- Tourists: people who come to visit the Great Barrier Reef. They often come by boat.- Farmers: people who work the land nearby the reef or its catchment areas

How the Australian Great Barrier Reef Succeeds at Preservation and Sustainable Use and How it Applies to a Worldwide Problem

3377 words - 14 pages ," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 96, No. 14, p. 8007-8012, July 6, 1999. White, M. "Sensitive Marine Environments and the Regulation of Shipping: The Great Barrier Reef Experience," Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, Vol. 4, No. 3, 1999, p. 219-242.

Traditional and Contemporary Management of Homebush Bay Intertidal Wetlands and Great Barrier Reef - Geography - Essay

999 words - 4 pages can use the Homebush Bay intertidal Wetlands for their own benefit. We approach management strategies as to protect the heritage, utility and intrinsic value for ourselves and the health of other ecosystems and others. Without management, large parts of ecosystems will be lost for future generations. This can be seen in the Great Barrier Reef. Covering 348,700km², it is the largest coral reef system in the world. The traditional management of the

Review of documentary "Muddy Waters" on sedimentation on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

1001 words - 4 pages MUDDY WATERS by Sally Ingleton(Shown 20th May on SBS)The documentary Muddy Waters provides an insight into the sedimentation on the Great Barrier Reef between Cairns and Townsville and how it is destroying the reef. However, though the movie does try to portray opposing sides of the debate as to what is causing this sedimentation, many fundamental issues to the problem have been avoided or underplayed.The video stated heavy metals as one of the

Destroying the Barrier between Consumption and Production

2216 words - 9 pages fetish is a term deprived from Marx, and it simply means that there is an absence of relationship between the people who produce products, and those who buy it. The market place often times build a barrier between production and consumption, so the truth behind where these products come from remain in the dark, thus, causing us to be unaware of these truths—hence the reason why I felt like a horse with blinders on, just a few weeks prior. I never

Similar Essays

The Great Barrier Reef Essay

1223 words - 5 pages array of marine life from mollusks to fish to sea and shore birds. Attracting about 2 million people per year, the GBR generates AU$4-5 billion annually. A coral reef forms underwater when thousands of tiny animals, called polyps, establish a colony. How did this series of reefs become the Great Barrier Reef? “On a June evening of 1770, Captain James Cook heard the screech of wood against stone” ( He later realized

The Great Barrier Reef Essay

1301 words - 5 pages (source 9 and 10) due to an increase in international trade and shipping activities. Overexploitation of fish, the use of fishing nets, poison fishing, dynamite fishing and coral harvesting are other threats to the Great Barrier Reef. (Source 1) According to source 6, the Great Barrier Reef is extremely vulnerable to climate change. For example, an increase in carbon dioxide concentration from 380 ppm to 450 ppm in the atmosphere will increase the

The Great Barrier Reef Essay 641 Words

641 words - 3 pages atThe Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the world's largest coral reef system, composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for 2,600 kilometres over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia.The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef

The Great Barrier Reef Essay 521 Words

521 words - 2 pages The Great Barrier ReefThe Great Barrier Reef is the biggest group of coral reefs in the world.It stretches along the coast on the north-east part of Australia. It is called the Great Barrier Reef because it creates a barrier between the Pacific Ocean and the coast.The Great Barrier Reef is a scattering of thousands of individual reefs. The reefs is on the World Heritage List made by UNESCO, because of its size and its many different plants and