Why the Great Barrier Reef isn’t in “bloody brilliant shape” (Part 2)

More on the Great Barrier Reef and how it isn’t in “bloody brilliant shape” – despite what Andrew Bolt might claim to the contrary. Ignoring the science and facts, Bolt instead relies on a single anecdotal observation from a spearfisherman to support his case:

Veteran diver Ben Cropp said that in 50 years he’d seen no heat damage to the reef at all. “The only change I’ve seen has been the result of over-fishing, pollution, too many tourists or people dropping anchors on the reef,” he said.

Here’s a challenge for you Andrew – show me the science that says otherwise.

Histograms illustrating the proportion of reefs (y axis) and percent coral cover (x axis) on the Great Barrier Reef (h) 1980-1983, (i) 2000-2003

Coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef (the world’s most extensive protected coral reef) is no higher than other regions such as the Phillipines (in general poorly managed and at high risk).

Cover (means ± 1 SE) in ten subregions of the Indo-Pacific. Values above the bars are the number of reefs surveyed in each subregion.

Source: Bruno JF, Selig ER (2007) Regional Decline of Coral Cover in the Indo-Pacific: Timing, Extent, and Subregional Comparisons. PLoS ONE 2(8): e711. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000711

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