La protección de la Gran Barrera de Coral ¡Toda una belleza natural!


The protection of the Great Barrier Reef A true natural beauty!

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is a must see and one of Australia's 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Australian Coral Reef tis also known as “The Great Barrier Rief” and is located in the Coral Sea, off the Queensland coast. Although its extension begins south of Papua Guinea, most of the Great Barrier Reef forms a parallel line off the east coast of Australia.

The Great Barrier Reef is considered the largest in the world. With its 400 types of coral, its 1.500 species of fish and their 4.000 varieties of molluscs, the Great Barrier Reef offers a spectacle of extraordinary variety and beauty, as well as great scientific interest.Without a doubt, it is one of the great treasures of our planet, but at the same time, many are very concerned about its situation: the Great Barrier Reef is in a very serious state at the moment due to the climate crisis that is suffering our planet.

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is dying. For years now the reef has suffered a strong bleaching caused by the rise in sea temperature that ends the fragile life of the corals. Now, a report commissioned by the Australian government has described the situation as "very serious": the state in which the Great Barrier Reef is located has gone from being "poor" to "very poor".

The report of the Marine Park Authority of the Great Barrier Reef,, which is published every five years, warns that the state of the reefs has deteriorated causing widespread loss and degradation of habitat that affects the entire underwater world. He warns that the complicated situation will not improve unless there is urgent national and global action to tackle the climate crisis, which he described as his biggest threat.

The report states that rising sea temperatures and climate change-related extreme events such as heat waves that caused massive coral bleaching in the northern two-thirds of the reef in 2016 and 2017 are the risks more immediate.

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Among other threats, agricultural pollution, coastal development and illegal fishing also stand out. The report says that water quality is improving very slowly and continues to affect many coastal areas, largely due to agricultural practices that have not improved fast enough. “Without further local, national and global action on these threats, the overall outlook for the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem will remain bleak, with continuing consequences for its heritage value,” the report says.

The Australian Great Barrier Reef is formed by the thousand-year accumulation of coral skeletons and, on this coral structure, the largest on the planet, one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in the world gathers. Not in vain is it home to 400 types of corals and 1.500 species of fish and animals as special as the dugong, a peculiar marine mammal, or the green turtle, both seriously threatened. Permanently losing a natural heritage like this would be irreparable.

How to protect coral reefs?

No matter if you live near the coast or hundreds of miles away, there are many things you can do to keep coral reefs healthy. Many of the dangers to coral reefs occur directly in the water, but many others come from activities on land, even far from shore. Ways to take care of our marine ecosystem and especially, coral reefs:

  • Practice snorkeling safely and responsibly. Avoid touching the reefs or anchoring the boat on the reef. Contact with the reef will harm delicate coral animals, and anchoring on the reef can kill corals; find a sandy bottom or use moorings, if available.
  • Take a reef-friendly approach when using sun protection. Sunscreen ingredients, such as oxybenzone, can harm or even kill corals. Using sunscreens with titanium oxide or zinc oxide, instead of oxybenzone, are safer options for corals. Or, better yet, reduce the use of sunscreens; for this, wear a long-sleeved or neoprene shirt to avoid sunburn

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But it's not just a matter of what we should do at sea. Our daily activity has a completely direct relationship with everything we do every day, even though we don't realize it. What things can we do daily to help in this regard and protect our environment and ecosystems?

  • Recycle and dispose of trash properly. Marine debris can be harmful to coral reefs. Recycle trash (especially plastics), at home and wherever you are, and remember the three “R's” (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle). When disposing of trash, dispose of it properly in the bins to prevent it from blowing away or reaching waterways and oceans. On beaches, be sure not to leave litter and never throw or leave unlit cigarettes on the sand.
  • Minimize the use of fertilizers. Excessive use of fertilizers on lawns deteriorates water quality, as the nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from the fertilizer run off into waterways and eventually end up in the oceans. These nutrients pollute the water and can damage coral reefs.
  • Use environmentally friendly means of transportation. Instead of driving a car, try walking, biking, or using public transportation (for example, buses and trains) more often. If you plan to buy a car, choose an energy-efficient vehicle, such as a hybrid or electric car. Using these cleaner transportation methods can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. These emissions contribute to ocean acidification and higher ocean temperatures. The increased acidity of ocean water prevents coral growth, and higher temperatures cause coral bleaching.

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Some of these are the measures that we can take on our part to help maintain and care for all these natural treasures that we have in the world. Everything under the sea is related, the animals, the plants, the quality of the water. And it is one of our duties to protect them! Thus, at the same time, we will be able to continue enjoying them!

What use are our gafas de sol if what we see is a destroyed planet. Take care of the planet!!