Is It Bye-Bye for Nemo?

Who doesn’t love or at least like the Disney movie Finding Nemo? The anemone home of Nemo and his father lies in a coral reef.  Well, Nemo and Marlin are the lucky ones. Many clownfish and other sea creatures suffer the loss of their beloved home The Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s biggest attraction, houses the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem. Sadly, during the past 27 years, half of the reef vanished. Katharina Fabricius, a coral reef ecologist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, said, “I hear of the changes anecdotally, but this is the first long-term look at the overall status of the reef. There are still a lot of fish, and you can see giant clams, but not the same color and diversity as in the past.” She and her colleagues found an overall 50% decrease in corral reefs, about a 3.4% decrease a year. On a particular note of interest, they discovered that the northern reefs suffered no decline in the past to decades.

I know you are wondering: how much of the decline in coral reefs is from anthropogenic climate change? The major contributors include: strengthening cyclones, crown-of-thorns starfish, and finally coral bleaching due to INCREASING TEMPERATURES because of climate change. The rise in ocean temperature causes corals to loose their zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae simply are the photosynthetic algae that live in coral tissues.

Now since we know that the Great Barrier Reef is an ecosystem, what other creatures suffer from the decline in coral? Thousands of animals and plants depend on the survival of the reef. Whales, along with porpoises, dolphins, and other sea mammals, visit and feed from the reef. Clownfish, along with coral trout, red bass, seahorses, and other anemone fish, live in the coral formations. Sea snakes also dwell in the reef. About six different breeding species of sea turtles live in the Great Barrier Reef. The discovery of all species might not be feasible because of disappearing reefs.

How are we going to save the reefs you may ask? Well, we can’t get rid of global warming, which means not much can be done about temperature rise, but actions for decreasing the number of harmful starfish are in effect. Our world has a depraved sense of logic because of its little knowledge of how much damage our actions cause.

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6 responses to “Is It Bye-Bye for Nemo?”

  1. carolinem0017 says :

    It is extremely sad that the great barrier reef may not be around in 50 years. How can we spread awareness to the public about this? Could this possibly disrupt our food supply because of the loss of fish? What other risks are there for humans?

    • laurenm0017 says :

      Hi Caroline. I am not certain but from reading around I don’t believe there is a significant amount of food from the Great Barrier Reef because of preservation of rare species. Only small boats fish around the reef. Many scuba diving groups dive around the reef.I believe the only way to get word out about this is to make global warming a hot topic and to show how many people and how many things it affects. Thanks for reading my post.

  2. carolelizabethk0017 says :

    Along with Caroline’s comment, I too want to know what other risks there are for humans. I liked how you told us the great facts and you hit us with some hard questions to make us want to keep reading.

  3. alexc0017 says :

    I’ve always wanted to go to the Great Barrier Reef and it’s kind of sad that it might not be a great as it once was.

  4. chelsear0017 says :

    Great post Lauren! It’s saddening to think that such remarkable, great beauty will be gone before we know it. I love your voice in this post and I look forward to your next one!

  5. isabelled0017 says :

    First of all, the connection to nemo was one of the major reasons that this post was so interesting to me, he’s awesome. About the great barrier reef though, if half of it is already gone, what can we do to stop the deterioration? Do we have to just stop all our carbon emissions or can we do something to strengthen the reef itself? It’s so sad something so beautiful is breaking down so quickly.

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