Coral Reef from GettyImages – IBORISOFF/ISTOCK
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The quintessential place to admire one of nature’s most delicate, complex and beautiful living beings, the vast chain of coral reefs that runs parallel to Australia’s north-east coast is fighting for its survival today. With an extension of 348,700 square kilometers, this corner of the planet is an extraordinary source of biodiversity, where animals construct huge colonies that allow the existence of very diverse ecosystems. Fish, mollusks, worms, algae, crustaceans and other living things -up to 25% of marine biodiversity- find their perfect place to live under the protection of these biotic reefs. However, it is also a very fragile habitat, highly dependent on salinity and water temperature conditions.
Victim of global warming, the Great Barrier Reef is suffering the same fate as other coral reefs in other parts of the world. Little by little, and faster every time, the corals die and this marine life sanctuary continues to disappear from the ocean. Whitish and parched skeletons that no longer harbor that vast number of species is all that remains.
Along with the increase in water temperature, fishing, commercial navigation, pollution and other effects of human presence have been an immense source of stress for this area of the ocean. If we do nothing to improve water quality around the Great Barrier Reef, in a few years it may not be possible to dive among corals in one of the most sought-after locations for underwater tourism and we will have destroyed one of the greatest biological treasures on our planet.