Australia warns of poor outlook for Great Barrier Reef
Published on Aug 12, 2014 3:29 PM
MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - Australia's Great Barrier Reef remains under threat despite efforts to rein in major sources of damage to the World Heritage-listed icon, the government said on Tuesday.
Canberra released a five-yearly review of the reef and moves to protect it, to address concerns raised by Unesco and persuade the world body not to put the key tourist attraction on its "in danger" list next year. "Even with the recent management initiatives to reduce threats and improve resilience, the overall outlook for the Great Barrier Reef is poor, has worsened since 2009 and is expected to further deteriorate," the government said in its outlook report.
The fragile reef, which stretches 2,300 km along Australia's east coast, is the centrepiece of a campaign by green groups and marine tourist operators aiming to stop a planned coal port expansion that would require millions of cubic metres of sand to be dredged up and dumped near the reef.
The reef has the world's largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish, 4,000 types of mollusc, and is home to threatened species, including the dugong and large green turtle, the World Heritage list says.
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