Great Barrier Reef coral cover has halved in 27 years

Great Barrier Reef coral cover has halved in 27 years

A new report released today has shown the Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral cover in the last 27 years.

Researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science have published their findings today.

The results are the accumulation of a comprehensive reef monitoring program, which began in 1985, surveying more than 100 reefs.

Research fellow at the AIMS, Dr Peter Doherty, says over the past 27 years the reef has lost 50 per cent of its coral cover, and if the trend continues it could halve again by 2022.

 The study has shown the loss of coral is due mainly to storm damage and crown of thorns starfish.

CEO of the Institute, John Gunn, says while they can’t stop storm patterns they hope to reduce the impact of the starfish and give the reef a better chance of adapting to rising sea temperatures.

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 103 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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