The UK Telegraph reports that a study has shown the health of the GBR has been markedly improved by the emissions reductions policies implemented throughout the globe which have halted climate change… er, no, wait, a strict fishing ban:
The study has raised hopes that years of decline on the world’s biggest living organism can be reversed.
Australian researchers said their findings had proved “no-take” zones set up in 2004 to prohibit fishing have had a significant benefit.
“The results are actually quite impressive. Having a higher proportion of protected areas is good for marine life, it’s good for fish and it’s good for people who rely on the reef for a living,” said Laurence McCook, the lead author of the report by the Australian Research Centre’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences, shows the zones have more and bigger fish, including sharks, and less damage to coral.
“That’s a very important result not only for the reef, because corals build the reef, but it’s also important for the tourism and fishing industries because fish rely on coral for their habitat,” said Mr McCook.
All good news then? Of course not. We couldn’t end without playing the “Climate Joker”:
However, he warned the reef was also facing a significant danger from climate change, which bleaches the coral and impedes its growth by raising the water’s temperature and acidity.
Phew, I was starting to worry there for a minute…
Read it here.