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

657 words - 3 pages

THREATS:River runoff from the land: Cane farmers in northern Queensland have had to reverse the cycle of the wetlands so that the water leaves the land quickly, in order for their cane crops to survive. The problem with the water leaving quickly, though, is that it drags the topsoil and various other harmful agricultural chemicals with it. That dirty water then filters into the river catchments that feed the Great Barrier Reef. This water turns into mud, algae and bacteria that settle on the living coral organisms. It then smothers the animal and eventually kills it.Climatic change: Coral can loose its colour or even die from a change in its climate such as a cyclone or global warming. All the pollution that humans send up into the atmosphere thins the Ozone Layer. The Ozone Layer is meant to filter out the harmful UV rays, but ...view middle of the document...

They can either be the federal, state or the local government.- Conservationists: people who work towards the protection of the Great Barrier Reef.- Tourism Industry: people who work in the tourism industry. E.g. travel agents, tour operators.- Fishing Industry: people who work in the fisheries to earn a living.GOVERNMENT PLANS:A new plan to protect the Great Barrier Reef was released on June 2, 2003. The plan was released by the Federal Government and it aims to close 32.5% of the reef to fishing, both commercial and recreational. The stakeholders involved in the Great Barrier Reef feel differently about this new proposal.- The fishing industry is strongly opposing the government's idea to turn over 30% of Australia's Great Barrier Reef into a 'No fishing zone'. They say that the coral trout, mackerel, prawn and crab fisheries will be hardest hit by the proposal, probably forcing them out of commercial business. Also, 400,000 recreational fishers in Queensland would be hit.- The tourism industry will also be hit hard by the plan because they won't be able to operate fishing tours. Also, not many tourists will want to tow their boats to Northern Queensland if they can't fish from them. One of the only activities left to do will be deep sea diving and snorkelling, and they cost the tourists a lot of money.- Conservationists are in approval of the Governments proposal because they believe that it is a good step towards the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. They also believe that the protected area should be increase to more than half the reef's total surface area.- Farmers are also affected by the plan because in conjunction with the protection plan, a water quality plan was also released. This second scheme restricts the clearing of native bushland and mainland development in order to protect the reef from the problem of river runoff from the land. This restricts the farmer's useable farming land area.

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