Restoring the reef, the importance of aquaculture

The Great Barrier Reef is often described as the largest living thing and largest living organism in the world. The reef is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands.

Coral magazine had a great article in the dec 2012 issue about the great barrier reef and the environmental impacts that have lead to it loosing half of it’s coral cover in the last 27 years.

A new study by Australian scientist reports that 42% of the reef loss was from Crown of Thorns starfish, 48% was storm damage and drainage, and 10% was bleaching.

-Ocean warming and climate change causes both Storm damage and bleaching.

-Fertilizer run-off causes plankton blooms, which promotes outbreaks of the coral killing Crown of Thorn starfish.

After these huge disturbances it takes the reef roughly 10-20 years to recover, but the intervals between the disturbances are too short for full recovery, which is causing the long-term loss.

According to Dr Peter Doherty of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) “We are putting five times more sediment, up to eight times more nitrogen and six times more phosphorous into the reef than we should be. Turning that around is a very large task.”

It’s important to remember why we are all in this hobby. We love the ocean, and all it’s beauty. We must do everything we can to save it, protect it, and help it regenerate quickly. This is why  it is important that we all grow and buy aquacultured corals, and fish.

Here at Doc Aquarium we’ve been growing corals in aquariums and our greenhouse for 15 years.  We provide our clients with zero impact corals and encourage everyone to do the same.