Scientists buoyed by Larval Restoration Project
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.