Fertiliser Run-Off Polluting the Reef
Chemical pollution from farm fertiliser run-off has destroyed more of the Reef’s coral and seagrass than any other threat. Up to 1,000 reefs have been affected. Excess chemical fertiliser runs off farms, into the creeks and rivers, which then enter the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Fertilisers can cause harmful algal blooms that feed the larvae of coral-eating Crown-of-Thorns Starfish. These starfish are now in plague proportions due to farm chemicals polluting the Reef’s waters.
In the last three decades we have lost half the Great Barrier Reef’s coral cover – with coral – eating crown-of-thorns starfish responsible for over 40% of this loss. The current outbreak, which has been building for five years, will further damage the Reef’s coral.
To learn more about this urgent threat read the WWF report ‘The Starfish that Eat the Reef’.
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