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25 Risks to the Great Barrier Reef

by Ayu Mesdya

The Great Barrier Reefs is a world heritage, and it is along the Queensland Coast in northern Australia, from the mainland of Port Douglas to Bundaberg. This place is the largest place for the life of organisms in the sea. So great, the great Barrier reef can be seen from outer space. The population living and living within the Great Barrier Reefs currently reaches 2000 species. Species include various types of fish, predators, to various types of soft and hard coral reefs.

Not only that, various types of sea snakes, dugongs, dolphins and even whales are also recorded in the Great Barrier Reefs. The facts in 2017 are the corals in the Great Barrier Reef are dying of global warming in ocean or climate change. Coral bleaching is a phenomenon of color loss in algae populations. According to the survey coral reef of 911 is only about 7 percent who escaped from bleaching. High bleaching rate in the northern Great Barrier region has stretched for thousands of miles.

However, the recovery efforts of coral reefs can still be done Communities can help coral conservation by not polluting the beach, including illegal waste disposal and fishing.


Every year global warming is getting worse and bigger. Moreover the impact on the sea, the longer the more visible. Just look at the ice in the Arctic and at the South Pole. Every year it always melts and makes the volume of water in the sea grow. The cause of global warming is actually from the human activity itself.

How come? Every year the human population increases, where garbage disposal everywhere. Many of us are still unaware of the natural surroundings. Such as the use of pesticides that contain harmful compounds, and damage the plants. Plastic waste, diapers, and food waste are often found in rivers or on the coast.

From the cause and effect that has been discussed, what threat will be obtained by the geography of the Barrier Reef? Here are 25 threats to the Great Barrier Reef global warming in ocean currents:

  1. Rising of temperature

The rise in temperature because of the global warming. It can create pressure on heat and this affects coral bleaching and infectious diseases. If the temperature increase continues, the life in the great barrier reef is threatened. Read more about Characteristics of Ocean Temperature

2. Increase of sea water volume

This increase in water volume created by glacial melt and high of rainfall. These two conditions lead to an increase in seawater volume, which is a serious threat to the Great Barrier Reefs. one of the threats of bad weather is the lack of food nutrition in a number of marine biomes and also it can cause damage and even death. You may want to read about Causes of Sea Level Rise

3. The bad weather

The bad weather like storms or heavy rain can make coral reefs destroyed. Especially with the absence of mangrove trees. The loss or lack of mangrove trees on the tropical coast will cause abrasion. If the abrasion occurs, this threat also applies to some people who are living on the coast.

4. Sedimentation

Rainfall-based on fresh water, sediment and pollutants can cause cloudy water conditions and also it can reduce the light. Pollutants and sediment that are in the Great Barrier Reefs, it can make the threat. One of them is bleaching of coral reefs. Read more about Destruction of Oceanic Crust

5. Ocean Currents

The ocean currents are divided into two categories, warm and cold ocean currents. The warm ocean currents are affected by the sun’s rays of the sea. While the cold ocean currents come from the cooler areas, such as the pole. If these two currents meet, it will affect coral reefs, fish and coral larvae.Especially, this is a threat to coral larvae because they will lack their food. You may want to read about Impact of Ocean Currents

6. The frequency of the weather is uncertain

The uncertain of weather Frequency can affect the life of coral reefs. Wind with big waves to the occurrence of storms has sufficient power to damage coral reefs. Weather frequency may change due to global warming. Global warming can change the climate of the world, which the previous climate is good, now it is not.

7. The weakness of plastering processes

The effects of global warming gases caused by greenhouses, it can increase atmospheric CO2 gas. The effect of this co2 gas in the ocean can reduce the ability of coral reefs to grow and it also affects normal plastering processes. If the coral reefs plastering processes are weak, so the coral bleaching will result.

8. Disturbing the supply of nutrients to the coral

The sunlight that cannot reach the bottom of seawater can make coral reefs threatened. Marine biota such as Zooxanthellae requires sunlight to perform photosynthesis. If the sunlight cannot reach it, it will have an impact on the supply of nutrients and colors on coral reefs. It can also damage the cells that exist on coral reefs. Where damage to this cell can cause coral bleaching and die. If it’s like this, fishermen will be restless because of the availability of fish in the sea is reduced.

9. Predators

Coral reefs have predators that can destroy and modify the structure of the reef itself. One such example is the Bolbometopon muricatum. This predator fish has teeth that can destroy coral parts easily. Recovery of damage caused by these predatory animals can be recovered. However, it depends on the extent of the damage.

10. A lot of trash on the beach

A trash like plastics that are on the beach, it is the most threat to the Great Barrier Reefs. The chemicals of the plastic can through the sea and affect the coral in the Great Barrier Reefs. This thing is one most of bleaching of the coral reefs.

11. Irresponsible Tourist Act

Destructive with or unintentionally is one of the irresponsible tourist acts. This action is mostly done when diving. Coral reefs are fragile creatures. It’s better to be careful in diving. One part just off from coral reefs, it will affect life there.

12. Taking Coral Reef as souvenir

Many souvenir shops near the beach sell a variety of ornaments from the sea. One of them is coral reefs, it really is not to be traded. Taking something from the sea and selling it to make money may be profitable. However, its impact on nature is big. This threat is not just for creatures in the sea but also human. Read more about Destruction of Coral Reefs

13. No more protection for us

Global warming is happening to the present increasingly deteriorate the state of coral reefs. How come? The role of coral reefs now as barriers to protect marine and human community habitats from large waves and storms is becoming increasingly vulnerable due to global warming. Pollution, waste, marine debris are the cause the increasing of global warming.

14. Food chain of sea

No coral reefs in the sea, meaning the cycle of the food chain at sea becomes disturbed. This unbalanced cycle of food chains can impact marine ecosystems in the ocean. For example, many small fish are consumed by large fish. If all the fish are caught by humans, then the fish predators do not get their food. It is not only that, seagulls that live in the area around the beach will be difficult to get food.

15. Impact of marine ecosystems

Like it was said in the previous points, the unbalanced of the food cycle of the sea it may impact to the marine ecosystem. How it come? The changes of temperature and some of the ocean currents make the marine ecosystem will die.

16. Lose of coral structure

Loss of coral reef structure can be caused by two things, namely ocean acidification and destroyed by humans.Ocean acidification can weaken coral reef structures and it makes slow the growth of coral reefs. Besides, the loss of coral structure can happen to the human if the human taking on the part of coral reefs or he destroys it by his giant nets.

17. Mortality of  some fishes

Global warming and coral bleaching can cause death to a number of living things that exist in the sea. Increased mortality rates in some fish even whales or other animals living on the Great Barrier Reefs. Many incidents such as stranded and dead of whales are found because of this impact.

18. Save their own life

While the part of the Great Barrier is threatened, some fish species will move to a safer place. It is for the sake of their lives. This way is mostly done by some of the species, especially fish. When they find a new safe place, so there they will live.

19.Quality of the sea

The quality of sea water is getting worse, because of the pollution. The cruise ships are the most one of the causes getting worse of water quality. The form of the sea is blue, now it’s turning darker than usual. The effects of pollution on both liquid and air waste are a threat to coral reefs and marine mammals.

20. Full of damage

Overfishing and dredging is the most activity to create the damage to the sea. Who people do overfishing some coral, and little fish may appear in their nets. If this activity continues, maybe some species of few fishes will be extinct.

21. Loss food

Damaged reefs are not threatening the Great Barrier Reef. But, it affects some marine life like polyp corals. Polyp corals will lose their food intake. This often happens when bad weather or the effects of global warming occur.

22. Marine Life is threaten

Not only animals living in the Great Barrier Reef are threatened, but other animals such as birds living on the coast will also be threatened. Why? Because the birds like seagull are consumed fish. If there are no fish in the coast. So, they are will be threatened and they will die.

23. Decreasing of production

In some places, perhaps some fish species will become extinct. This could reduce the production supply for humans to consume. The species of fish like salmon, herrings, tuna and other species of fish that usually consumed.

24. No more Fishes for human

If the coral reef is damaged and no more coral reefs, then the fish will be extinct. Not only that, humans no longer consume fish, because there are no more fish in the sea. Here is the importance of us as human beings to preserve and repair the damaged of reefs. As human beings, we have to care about nature because we as humans depend on nature.

25. Over Damage to the sea

Examples of severe damage to coral reefs one of them is the activity of coral’s mining. This activity can make the coral reefs threaten. The activity also makes the coral reefs die. If coral reefs die, then the fish production will be decreased.

The Effects

The most profound effect we can feel from global warming is extreme weather changes. The sea is the first place to feel the effects of global warming greater than the mainland. Each year researchers suggest that the impact of global warming has a huge effect on the ocean. Coral reefs one of them as time goes by the great Barrier Reffs slowly begin to be threatened. Extreme Climate Change is one of the causes. Many corals become white because of constantly changing sea temperatures.

If every year, this situation continues to happen, then not only coral reefs are threatened but the marine life inside is also threatened. Not only that, pollution is the second impact that makes the great barrier reef threatened. The pollution could come from pesticides used by farmers to grow crops or could be from mining around the Great Barrier Reefs.


Is there a solution to solve the threats on the Great Barrier Reef? To deal with threats, all it takes is awareness. Yes, human consciousness itself to see the natural state around, especially the sea. If all human beings are aware of the importance of the sea for life, it can minimize global warming.  Below are some solutions for the great Barrier reef under restoration:

a. Zoning

Establish zoning along the coastline, this is intended for recovery strategies and recovery expectations. With the zoning division in every coastal area, recovery of coral reef ecosystems can be recovered. In addition, it can not be disturbed by human activities so that coral reefs can grow naturally.

b. Rehabilitation

Recovery of damaged coral reefs can also be done with rehabilitation. We can increase the coral population by allowing live coral seeds on the surface of clean objects. It can also reduce the population of algae that live freely. Coral transplantation is one of the efforts also in rehabilitating coral reefs. However, not all types of coral reefs can use this transplantation activity.

c. Training Activities

Some training or campaign activities are continuously conducted to awaken the community in conserving coastal ecosystems. Dealing with waste activities around the coastal area or campaign to reduce the use of plastic bags. This method is also a way of conservation efforts on coral reefs.

d. Being Responsible Tourist

It’s a very important being a responsible tourist. We as a tourist must keep our ocean as we could. Don’t throw a plastic or trash on the beach, while diving not to pull some part of the coral reef also diving it safely. There are some ways to protect coral reefs in the ocean. Everyone as a tourist can do it, as long as we must be aware and we’ll understand what the benefits of the sea for our lives

Threats discussed earlier, actually make us aware that the sea has a very important role in human life. If these threats continue to be abandoned, soon species in the ocean will become extinct and we can no longer see the beauty of coral reefs. Only our consciousness can preserve and preserve this wealth. The impact of coral reef damage is not only felt by marine biota, but we also feel the impact, natural disasters.

Not only the peoples, the government also supports in preserving and maintaining the Great Barrier Reef, such as giving more knowledge about coral reefs, awakening the community to protect the environment by re-use, recycle and reduce. And reef recovery activities affected by global warming. Hopefully, the discussion of 25 threats to the Great Barrier Reef can benefit all of us.

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