The Great Barrier Reef was recently proclaimed dead to the disappointment of millions of people across the globe. The blaming game has already started, but the is the Great Barrier Reef dead report accurate?
Great Barrier Reef dead reports started when Outside Magazine published an obituary, saying goodbye to the natural wonder. Based on the information released, the GBR died because of a long illness this year, ending its 25 million years of existence.
While most people believed that the Great Barrier Reef is now nothing but a part of history, one coral expert told Huffington Post that details in the obituary should be taken with a grain of salt. Is the Great Barrier Reef Dead?
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies director Terry Hughes said that it is a well-known fact that the Great Barrier Reef is in serious trouble. But to say that the GBR is dead is inaccurate. He pointed out that there is still chance to save GBR, which means that 70,000 jobs in reef tourism will also be saved.
“Large sections of it escaped from the 2016 bleaching, and are in reasonable shape,” Hughes said. “The message should be that it isn’t too late for Australia to lift its game and better protect the GBR, not we should all give up because the GBR is supposedly dead.”
Hughes also pointed out inaccuracies in the obituary. He said that the Great Barrier Reef suffered its first mass-bleaching in 1998, not in 1981 like what the article suggested.
Russell Brainard, chief of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Program at NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, also debunked that the Great Barrier Reef dead reports. He also said that there is still a chance that GBR will recover from recent setbacks. “These natural systems do have some ability to be resilient and bounce back,” he said.