Great Barrier Reef: alive and well

Doing OK

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.


  1. On an unrelated note, but entirely within the theme, I watched ‘James May’s Big Ideas’ on SBS. The episode last Friday night was devoted to alternative energy sources. And during the whole show, which discussed many and varied ways to create energy from sources other than fossil fuels, do you know how many times climate change was mentioned? Every time between ads? Only in the introduction?

    I’ve got the answer for you : not once at all was climate change mentioned. Clearly James May is not a global warming convert.

  2. Chris Hancock says:

    Very astute. If the reef responds well to no take zones, it must be immune from climate change!
    If only those marine biologists had such probing insight.

    It seems that if you sympathize with the deniers, you can say absolutely anything, no matter how stupid.

    • @Chris Hancock: The point is that there are many things other than climate change that do far more damage. The GBR has survived many changes in climate perfectly well, because of its natural ability to adapt. Anyway, check the GBR sea surface temperatures for the last twenty years – flat. It seems that if you sympathize with the hysterics, you can say absolutely anything, no matter how stupid.

%d bloggers like this: