Coral reef awareness week was last week so Josh and I visited the worlds largest reef system!
The Great Barrier Reef consists of 2,900 individual reefs and is able to be seen from space. About 10% of the worlds fish species thrive in these waters as well as whales, dolphins, turtles, and porpoises. Coral consists of individual animals called polyps. These polyps are clear bodies with white skeletons. Corals vibrant colours come from zooxanthellae which lives in and supports the coral tissue. However, when coral becomes stressed, the algae is evicted and the coral appears bleached.
The Great Barrier Reef, a world heritage site, is over 20 million years old but is largely threatened by climate change. The warming water puts stress on coral, as does poorly managed tourism and many pollutants including sunscreen. Over 50% of the reef has been bleached now, severely threatening the reefs biodiversity and sustainability.
Awareness is the first step to fix an issue. Look after our oceans ☀️❤️