Over-fishing too much for the Reef

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2 Over-fishing too much for the Reef Over- aggressive fishing hasn t been much of a problem for The Great Barrier Reef until the past few decades. The Great Barrier Reef, a highly popular tourist destination off the coast of Australia, has a very delicate ecosystem. Over- fishing of certain species and aggressive fishing is destroying the reef. Organisms in a coral reef are very dependent on each other, so one species with too may or too little population size will completely throw off the ecosystem. The aggressive fishing by many is causing disruption in the coral reef food chain and affecting many different species. The Great Barrier Reef is home to many organisms. With fishermen constantly moving their boats over the reef, it can get badly damaged.

3 Human Impact Humans are using aggressive fishing methods and causing the coral reefs to break. The coral reef food chain is also being affected by aggressive fishing. A grouper fish, very popular food to eat, is being overfished. This is leading to an increase in damselfish. Damselfish help create pockets in coral reefs where algae grows and damselfish feast. If their natural predators are decreasing, then algae can take over the coral reef, killing it. Over-fishing will also disrupt the marine ecology of the Great Barrier Reef because of the special nutrients, salt, and oxygen contents provided by the fish. Ships sailing over the Great Barrier Reef need to do so more cautiously due to the damage caused to the reef. The Shen Neng 1 hit a sandbank at full speed causing extensive damage, reports BBC News. Humans not being careful and conscious while maneuvering over the Great Barrier Reef can lead to negative consequences.

4 Solution #1 A solution that can help aggressive fishing in the Great Barrier Reef is setting aside 30 to 50 % of the reef as no take or no fishing zones for long term protection. Fines will be established for anyone crossing these designated areas. PROS: This would help control fishing because fishers won t be able to go fishing anywhere they want. There will be designated fishing areas to protect the reefs. Coral reefs will be safe and they can still provide shelter and food for many organisms in the ocean. CONS: Setting aside 30 to 50% of the reefs might cause some problems. Having designated fishing zones and enforcing fines can cause sailors and fishermen to break into an uproar. They want to be able to fish where they want and not have to worry about any fines to pay. Also, companies that rely on fish for business, will less benefit this. With less fishing zones, less fish will be caught and produced for these companies. Lastly, fishing in the Great Barrier Reef brings in much tourism and with less fishing areas, the less tourists that will go. This could hurt businesses that rely on tourism. Researchers hope that by setting aside a good amount of the reef will safe much of it and the species that live within it.

5 Solution #2 A general solution to stopping or slowing down over-fishing would be to create a marine sanctuary. Maintaining a well funded, enforced and monitored network of marine sanctuaries throughout the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is essential to protect representative areas, as well as areas that are of special or unique biological value. PROS: The good side to creating marine sanctuaries is that the Great Barrier and the species living in its environment would be out of harms way, and over-fishing would be ceased. CONS: The potential downside to this plan would be that Marine Sanctuaries require a lot of funding and good management to keep it running. Researchers believe that by setting aside marine sanctuaries throughout the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park will help save the reefs.

6 Best Solution The best solution to help save the Great Barrier Reef would be setting aside 30 to 50 % of the reef as no take or no fishing zones and enforcing fines for those who do not follow this. This would be the best solution because people can still fish and sail in the designated areas and tourists can still visit the Great Barrier Reef. Also, big parts of the reef will be safe along with the many different species that live within it and the food chain will not be interrupted. Without a solution like this, serious consequences will be faced. The world could lose a beautiful part of the ocean and many different kinds of fish and other species of organisms living within the reef could be lost forever. By fixing the problem of over-fishing, the Great Barrier Reef can be protected and last for a very long time.

7 Bibliography

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