Out­look bright for lo­cal reefs

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

POSEIDON Outer Reef Tours owner Peter Wright be­lieves the Great Bar­rier Reef is do­ing bet­ter than ever.

De­spite sci­en­tific re­ports out­lined in last week’s Gazette sug­gest­ing co­ral reefs around the world will de­cline at dif­fer­ent rates, Mr Wright is op­ti­mistic about the reef’s fu­ture in our back­yard.

“De­spite what the doom­say­ers are say­ing, the co­ral is grow­ing,” Wright said. “The reef is look­ing bet­ter than ever, the fish stocks are all com­ing back to their nat­u­ral bal­ance and the co­ral is vig­or­ously re­grow­ing since Cy­clone Yasi.”

His re­sponse comes af­ter a sci­en­tific re­view claimed co­ral reefs around the world will de­cline at dif­fer­ent rates due to cli­mate change and ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion.

“There will be a change in per­cent­age and rep­re­sen­ta­tion of dif­fer­ent types of co­ral but I don’t think it’s cor­rect that the whole reef will col­lapse,” Mr Wright said. “Co­ral has a lot of re­silience, they have coped with pretty harsh con­di­tions, the big­gest worry will be a sud­den change.”

Mr Wright has been div­ing for 50 years and has seen an in­crease in the fish pop­u­la­tion since the re­zon­ing of the Great Bar­rier Reef, which cre­ated more pro­tected ar­eas and has also watched the reef re­form af­ter cy­clones Larry and Yasi.

Bet­ter than ever: the Great Bar­rier Reef

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