Target: Dr. Russell Reichelt, Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Goal: Enforce stronger fishing bans around the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef has recently suffered tremendous amounts of damage, but scientists believe that the preservation of certain species of fish can help it recover. A study conducted by the University of Adelaide found that the areas around the Great Barrier Reef with fishing bans were able to recover much more quickly from disaster. Scientists have known for a while now that herbivorous fish such as parrotfish and surgeonfish are indispensable for protecting reefs around the world.
The issue here is that the number of these algae-eating fish has been declining due to heavy fishing. About half of the park is off limits for fishing, but that still leaves large areas unprotected. If a complete ban on fishing is out of the question, then there must at least be research done to figure out which areas of the park contain the largest populations of reef-protecting fish.
The Great Barrier Reef has taken a lot of damage in recent years. Much of the damage is due to rising water temperatures, which have resulted in massive coral bleaching. These rises in temperature along with tropical storms have led to unprecedented levels of coral bleaching to the point that almost a third of the reef’s coral is a ghastly, white color. While many different actions are needed to both limit the destruction of the reef and to help it recover from past damage, creating larger fishing bans is palpable and would not require much effort. Sign the petition below to demand that there are larger fishing bans enforced in order to help the Great Barrier Reef survive.
Dear Dr. Reichelt,
As the chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, it is you and your organization’s responsibility to protect the natural wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef. The reef has recently experienced unprecedented levels of coral bleaching, and damage control must now be a priority.
Other countries like Belize and Bermuda have enforced the protection of certain reef protecting fish, and their reefs have been able to recover with remarkable speed after tropical storms. Protecting reefs around the world is vital to preserving marine life, as reefs are home to 25 percent of the world’s fish species.
The Great Barrier Reef is the most recognizable reef in the world. It is important for both shore protection and for tourism. Preserving the species of fish that protect the coral and allow it to recover from storms seems like an obvious necessity. We demand that you enforce larger fishing bans so that the Great Barrier Reef can have a healthier and safer future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Sarah Ackerman