RENOWNED coral scientist Professor Terry Hughes has revealed that bleaching has killed about 50 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral in just two years.
On Saturday night, May 20, Dr Hughes tweeted on Twitter: “30 per cent of #corals died following bleaching in 2016, another 19 per cent this year.”
Professor Hughes heads the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce which assessed mortality in 2016 and 2017 following unprecedented back-to-back bleaching.
“Australians will be shocked that the nation’s top reef scientist says about 50 per cent of all the Great Barrier Reef’s coral has been killed by bleaching in just two years,” WWF-Australia Head of Oceans Richard Leck said.
“The Reef is a global treasure and on our watch global warming has cooked half the coral,” he said.
It comes as the Reef 2050 Plan Independent Expert Panel has warned that that Australia’s Reef 2050 plan needs a major revision.
A communique from the expert panel states: “The Panel considers that action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases must be central to the response”.
“Currently, the Australian Government plan to save the Reef does not include a commitment to reduce greenhouse pollution to a Reef-safe level,” Mr Leck said.
“A decision on whether the Reef is considered by the World Heritage Committee again this year is imminent and Australia must show it is serious about protecting the Reef from all threats,” he said.
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.