Great Barrier Reef Has Lost Half of Its Coral in the Last 27 Years

This article talks about the loss of coral in the Great Barrier Reef. A company named AIMS (Australian Institute of Marine Science) has been monitoring the Great Barrier Reef since 1985. They have discovered shocking news, the Great Barrier Reef has lost over half its coral in the past 27 years. 48% of this loss is due to storm damage, the other 42% of this loss is due to crown of thorns starfish, and the last 10% is due to bleaching. AIMS is well aware that there is nothing they can do about the storm damage, but they know they can help the Great Barrier Reef by eliminating the crown of thorns starfish. After 2,700 days at sea, and spending over $50 million dollars in monitoring the reefs, they have come to the conclusion that the Reef could recover in 10-20 years if the crown of thorns starfish were removed. The corals would recover at an annual percentage rate of .89 without the starfish. AIMS is not planning on completely eliminating the crown of thorns starfish because this could affect water quality. The company will be studying carefully on how to reduce the population of this native pest in a responsible manner.

Taylor Marks

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121002094147.htm

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