Sci­en­tists buoyed by Lar­val Restora­tion Pro­ject

The Weekend Post - - News -

DANIEL BATE­MAN A HIS­TORY-mak­ing sci­en­tific ex­per­i­ment to jump-start a dam­aged coral reef is show­ing early signs of suc­cess.

Mil­lions of coral lar­vae har­vested from the Great Bar­rier Reef dur­ing last week’s mass have been af­fected by ma­jor cri­sis events, post-cri­sis re­cov­ery strate­gies were quickly de­vel­oped to re­build des­ti­na­tion im­age,” it says.

As­so­ci­a­tion of Ma­rine Park Tourism Op­er­a­tors boss Col McKen­zie said the in­dus­try group would launch a cam­paign in com­ing weeks to raise aware­ness to what is hap­pen- spawn­ing event have set­tled on de­graded patches of Vla­soff Reef, off Cairns.

The lar­vae were col­lected as part of the largest col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort in his­tory to re­gen­er­ate a reef us­ing coral spawn.

To set­tle the coral lar­vae, the team placed large mesh ing to the Reef. “What we want to do is make sure that the politi­cians un­der­stand that the only way we can save the Bar­rier Reef is if we ac­cept the fact that cli­mate change is the num­ber one threat,” he said.

“We in­tend to run a cam­paign in the New Year on just what cli­mate change is do­ing to the Bar­rier Reef, and the fact sheets re­sem­bling wed­ding veils on to some dam­aged reef sec­tions.

Con­cen­trated lar­vae were then added into the mesh cover­ing and sealed, al­low­ing the lar­vae a much greater chance of finding a suit­able place to set­tle. that there is still plenty of re­ally good dive sites to come to. But that won’t con­tinue for­ever if we don’t get a grip on it.”

Queens­land’s En­vi­ron­ment and Great Bar­rier Reef Minister Leeanne Enoch joined with other state and ter­ri­tory min­is­ters in Can­berra yesterday to con­demn the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment for its per­ceived in­ac­tion

The Lar­val Restora­tion Pro­ject in­volved sev­eral coral sci­en­tists, tourism and other key in­dus­try partners.

The team faced ex­tremely chal­leng­ing con­di­tions with a record-break­ing heat­wave, strong winds and a loom­ing cy­clone forc­ing them to adapt to ad­dress cli­mate change.

“It is time for the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to stop not­ing the sci­ence around the im­pacts of cli­mate change and ac­tu­ally step up and take ac­tion,” she said.

“It is un­ac­cept­able that there has been no progress on cli­mate change by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.” quickly to the chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

Pro­ject leader, South­ern Cross Univer­sity’s Pro­fes­sor Peter Har­ri­son, said they would con­tinue to mon­i­tor the Vla­soff Reef dur­ing the next six to nine months with a goal of show­ing a suc­cess­ful boost

The Fed­eral cli­mate change plan in­cludes re­duc­ing emis­sions by 5 per cent be­low 2000 lev­els by 2020, and re­duc­ing emis­sions by 26-28 per cent be­low 2005 lev­els by 2030. in coral abun­dance at de­graded patches of the reef.

“We en­coun­tered dif­fi­cult con­di­tions on the reef, but field work is all about adapt­ing to these con­di­tions and we were lucky to have the sup­port of a bril­liant team to make this pro­ject suc­cess­ful,” he said.

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