Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Tyrone Ridgway write in The Conversation (24.4.16) about the attention brought by Sir David Attenborough’s recent television series to the damage being done to the Great Barrier Reef. They suggest that, while the Reef has suffered alarmingly from rising ocean temperatures and acidification, there are still steps which governments can take to alleviate the problems. This comes as the federal government announces additional funding for Reef protection programs.
‘Over three weeks, Australians have been taken on an incredible journey through the biology, beauty and wonder of the Great Barrier Reef, guided by Sir David Attenborough.
‘As individuals who have had the privilege of working on the Reef for much of our lives, the wonderful storytelling, exquisite photography and stunning production of the Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough has been inspiring. It’s a great reminder of how lucky we are to have this wonder of nature right on our doorstep.
‘Particularly special has been the wonderful black-and-white footage of Sir David’s first visit to the Reef in 1957, a trip down memory lane. His attachment and fascination with the Reef are hard to dismiss.
‘However, as the curtain closes on this wonderful series, Sir David concludes that the Reef that he visited nearly 60 years ago is very different from today.
‘Research backs up this personal experience. The Australian Institute of Marine Science has shown that the Great Barrier Reef has lost around 50% of its coral cover between 1985 and 2012.’