Re­boot­ing the Reef

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Mark Mur­ray CON­TIN­UED PAGE 8

THE Great Bar­rier Reef is on the re­bound.

Doom­say­ers af­ter the mass bleach­ing events of 2016-2017 could be chang­ing their tune af­ter one the most suc­cess­ful coral spawn­ings in re­cent times.

Port Dou­glas based Reef guardians GBR Legacy have just re­turned from the most af­fected ar­eas at the north­ern tip and were buoyed to find the re­gion un­der­go­ing a mass spawn­ing event. It means heat stressed corals are giv­ing rise to the next gen­er­a­tion of reefs.

“This gives us hope that there are still in­cred­i­bly di­verse and healthy sites left in all re­gions of the Great Bar­rier Reef,” Legacy founder Dr Dean Miller told the

“These are more im­por­tant than ever as hold­ing the fu­ture ge­netic store that can help re­seed dam­aged reefs.

“Be­cause no one had been up there for some time it was largely un­known if the re­gion would un­dergo a suc­cess­ful spawn, but what we doc­u­mented and saw was quite clearly a mass spawn­ing event.”

The new-found op­ti­mism is wel­come news for the Dou­glas Shire re­gion that re­lies al­most en­tirely on tourism.

Pic­ture: GIZELLE GHIDELLA

Dr Char­lie Veron, Paul Nel­son, John Rum­ney and Dr Dean Miller aboard the M.Y Fly­ing Fish ves­sel af­ter re­turn­ing from the GBR Legacy ex­pe­di­tion.

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