The largest living organism on the planet is dying, an underwater wonderland listed as one of the seven wonders of the world, bursting with colourful fish and stunning coral life.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is the largest living thing on earth, so enormous it is visible from outer space. But this incredible reef is in danger, with half the coral dying in the past two years. This paradise of biodiversity is in peril, but what is affecting the reef such an extreme amount?
Everyday tasks at Home
Disposing and limiting your rubbish
Trash is one of the top causes for marine deaths these days, most significantly plastic. It is an everyday tool in our lives, used to transport objects, package products, and used to create objects for our enjoyment. Although it is a handy material, and the majority of the time is unavoidable, it has caused a huge amount of harm to our environment. It’s estimated that four million tonnes of trash accumulates every day, with 12.8 per cent being plastic.
Incorrect or unregulated plastic disposable causes more and more to inhabit our oceans. It’s estimated around five trillion pieces of plastic are already polluting the seas, which hurts both the ocean and its residents. The plastic creates a change in the natural pH levels of the ocean which both the reefs and marine life rely on. Additionally, many plastic objects, including plastic bags, look like food to animals, causing an accumulation of animals ingesting this toxic waste. Choosing to buy fewer plastic products and using the recycling bin properly helps the build-up of waste not reach our oceans.
Buy sustainable Products
Many products which are offered in our supermarkets are bad for the environment. Although they may look harmless, a can of tuna or a package of rice can be linked to devastating distress in our environment. Seafood is one of the most popular products in the supermarket, being a delicious, easy, and a healthy option for the modern citizen. But behind these brightly coloured fillets is the disastrous issue of overfishing.
Due to the demand for particular fish, many species are being over-fished to the extent where the population can’t keep up. Causing more and more endangered species to roam the sea. With humans taking a large chunk out of the environment, the overall food chain and ecosystem are changing, wreaking havoc and destroying the marine ecology overall. Choosing a sustainable option helps us limit our negative effect on the environment, so make sure to read the labels and research before buying. Look for certified sustainable products and where possible only purchase species that are not endangered.
Easy tasks when visiting
Choose the right tour
Tourism is a booming business in Australia, with the Great Barrier Reef being one of the most popular destinations. But with so many tours on offer, it can be hard to pick out the best for the environment. Some tourism companies can offer you an incredible experience of the Great Barrier Reef while playing an important role in protecting the reef’s biodiversity that their industry relies on. Sit down and do some research into the tours you’re booking and always opt for eco-friendly offers.
Care for the Reef while visiting
This step is simple if you see any trash floating in the water or littered on the beach-pick it up. This simple acts may only take a minute out of your day but will make a difference for the marine life and environment overall. Just think with each plastic bag or straw you pick up, you could be saving the life.
Another simple choice you can make is to use reef-safe sunscreen! Many of the chemicals in sunscreen can be harmful to the reef, so avoid them if possible by using a sea safe sunscreen.
Related article: What Sunscreen Should You Use at the Great Barrier Reef?
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