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Articles on Great Barrier Reef

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After mass bleaching in 1998, more than half of coral reefs in the Seychelles have slowly recovered. Nick Graham

Obituaries for coral reefs may be premature, study finds

Coral reefs are the poster child for the damage people are doing to the world’s oceans. Overfishing, pollution and declining water quality have all taken their toll on reefs around the world. Perhaps the…
Coral reefs are like an underwater metropolis – and function in similar ways. Simon Gingins

It’s survival of the most useful when protecting species

Consensus is growing that we are steering towards a sixth mass extinction event. There are calls for increased efforts to stop the accelerating loss of plants and animals. But do we really need to protect…
You didn’t need a onesie to get hot under the collar about sharks in 2014. AAP Image/Theron Kirkman

2014, the year that was: Environment + Energy

Want a single word to sum up environmental affairs in 2014? Let’s go with “heated”. The year began with the realisation that 2013 was Australia’s hottest ever (and yes, it’s because of us), and ended with…
Over the past three years, there’s been increasing concern over the future of the Great Barrier Reef. american_rugbier/Flickr

The Great Barrier Reef should not be listed as ‘in danger’

The Australian government has stepped up its campaign this month to prevent the Great Barrier Reef being listed as a World Heritage site “in danger” at international meetings next year. The World Heritage…
Flying over Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Kiyo/Flickr

The plan to save the Great Barrier Reef is destined to fail unless …

The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble, and a draft government plan to ensure its survival does not go far enough. A number of submissions including those from the Australian Academy of Science and Environmental…
Much of the Great Barrier Reef is in poor health. Scientists have called for dredging decisions at Abbot Point to be reopened. Flickr/Robert Linsdell

Abbot Point dredging debate needs to be reopened: experts

Approval for dumping dredge spoil within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park at Abbot Point could be reopened, with port developers reportedly considering storing dredge material on land. According to the…
Tony Abbott may have planted a few trees, but he’s also sought to bury many of Australia’s environmental safeguards. Britta Campion/AAPImage

Abbott’s environment agenda is even harsher than he promised

Before the 2013 election, Tony Abbott gave us fair warning that he would turn the clock back on the environment. As promised, his government has devoted itself to short-term economics and the sort of hardline…
The latest report on the health of the Great Barrier Reef shows the reef condition is “poor” Scientific Editor/Flickr

Reef condition is ‘poor’, and probably worse than healthcheck suggests

The latest healthcheck of the Great Barrier Reef shows the overall outlook is “poor”, and getting worse. According to the Outlook Report produced by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, climate…
Health in decline: the outlook has worsened for the Great Barrier Reef over the past five years. Wikimedia Commons

The state of the Great Barrier Reef: experts respond

Two landmark reports on the health of the Great Barrier Reef have outlined the pressure it is being put under by climate change and other environmental factors. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s…
Fishing of potato rock cod is totally banned in Queensland waters. Better regulation might avoid similar bans for other species. Mark Priest

How ecosystems can keep their fish, and we can eat them too

Tighter bag limits for fishing could be the key to ocean conservation, according to new research showing that limiting fishing across entire regions can offer better protection than using marine reserves…
Healthy coral on the Great Barrier Reef. New research shows that corals exposed to dredging have increased risk of disease. dion gillard/Flickr

Dredge spoil linked to coral disease, WA study shows

Dredging has a direct impact on coral health, according to a study published today in PLoS ONE that shows for the first time the link between dredge spoil and coral disease in the wild. The research, led…
The Ranger uranium mine, inside the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. AAP Image/Tara Ravens

Queensland lifts its uranium ban, but is the price worth the cost?

As of today, Queensland has lifted a 32-year ban on uranium mining. That decision was taken within months of the 2012 state election, despite Premier Campbell Newman’s pre-election promise not to restart…
About 5% of the Tasmanian Wilderness could delisted as a World Heritage area, if an Australian government request wins international approval. Ta Ann Truths/Flickr

Australia sends mixed messages on iconic World Heritage areas

This week, experts will debate the future of two of Australia’s World Heritage areas, the Tasmanian Wilderness and the Great Barrier Reef, at a meeting in Doha, Qatar. The world will be watching, as it…
The Reef Trust discussion paper suggests a focus on eradicating crown-of-thorns and water quality - no mention of climate change or port developments. John Turnbull/Flickr

The $40 million Reef Trust is a good start, but it could be better

In the midst of harsh cuts to Great Barrier Reef management and research, including cuts to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Department of…
We need to play our cards right if Australia’s marine environments are to keep us afloat. Saspotato/Flickr

Marine science: challenges for a growing ‘blue economy’

In many ways, Australia is defined by the oceans surrounding us. We have the world’s third largest ocean territory, most of our trade travels by sea, and we have vast offshore resources.
The new budget has served up a big hit to Australia’s environment. Anton Balazh/Shutterstock

Litany of deep cuts for environmental programs

Budgets are often framed as give and take. But in the case of the environment, the government is taking large amounts of money in cuts, while giving little back beyond funding the Direct Action climate…

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