Human Impacts On The Great Barrier Reef

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Human Impacts on the Great Barrier Reef-Australia Introduction The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef in the world, located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia the reef stretches over 2,300km. In total the reef covers over 300,000 square kilometres in area and includes over 2,900 reefs, and around 940 islands and cays. It is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 types of hard coral, one-third of the world’s soft corals, 134 species of sharks and rays, six of the world’s seven species of threatened marine turtles, and more than 30 species of marine mammals, including the vulnerable dugong. Human Activities Affecting the Reef The balanced ecology of the Great Barrier Reef is one that is vulnerable to even the slightest human influence. Coral reefs require light, oxygen, clear water, special nutrients, stable temperatures and salt content to survive. Therefore, human impacts that are causing changes in these conditions are causing severe negative effects on the ecology and marine life of the Great Barrier Reef. The Negative Impacts of Agriculture Agricultural industries, including grazing and cropping, are the largest users of land in the Great Barrier Reef Catchment and are causing a serious pollution problem. Today 80% of the land adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park supports agricultural production, primarily beef cattle grazing and intensive cropping which is contributing to the degradation of the coral reef. Agriculture causes: * Pollution (fertilizers and pesticides) * Runoff * Sedimentation | Pollution(fertilizers and pesticides) Pollution has made significant impacts on the Great Barrier Reef and its struggle for survival. Human based pollution that has caused such harm to the reefs needs to be stopped or reduced significantly to save the reefs fragile ecosystem. Fertilizers are

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