The Australian authorities will allocate 500 million Australian dollars ($ 379.1 million) to protect the Great Barrier Reef, writes Reuters.
Some of these funds will go to farmers to reduce the flow of agricultural waste into the water. Waste from farms that grow sugar cane or domestic animals have damaged the reef areas that are close to the shore. The sediment strangles corals, and some nutrients stimulate the growth of algae that interfere with corals.
The other part of the amount will go to protect the reef from starfish feeding on corals. Sea stars clot their corals with their stomach and digest tissues with the help of digestive enzymes.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific criticized the decision of the authorities, pointing out that they are struggling with minor factors affecting the reef. In their view, the authorities should focus on reducing carbon emissions. “You can have either coral or coal. You can not have both, and that, “- said in the statement of the organization.
- According to a study in 2017, two-thirds of the reef was affected by discoloration. This is a territory of 1,5 thousand kilometers. Discoloration occurs when exposed to corals are displaced symbiotic algae zooxanthellae, which give them color. This threatens the corals with death, since it is the zooxanthellae that provide their air. Corals can recover, but this will take a long time – up to tens of years.
What else to read?
Scientists have edited the coral genes to protect them from discoloration.