Increased effort is needed to protect Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, which is in serious decline and will likely deteriorate further in the future, according to a new report.
“Greater reductions of all threats at all levels, reef-wide, regional and local, are required to prevent the projected declines,” said an outlook report by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the government agency responsible for protecting the reef.
However, the same agency recently approved the dumping of five million tons of dredging spoil in the reef region. Scientists and coral reef experts universally condemned the decision.
Documents obtained by Australia’s ABC TV investigative program this week revealed scientists inside the Park Authority also opposed the dumping inside the UNESCO World Heritage Area.
“That decision has to be a political decision. It is not supported by science at all, and I was absolutely flabbergasted when I heard,” Charlie Veron, a renowned coral reef scientist, told ABC. Veron is the former chief scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science.