Reef facts to be revealed in TV commercials

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The Great Barrier Reef Image credit: flickr User: Vivienne

The TV commercials authorized by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and aimed at informing Australians about the true environmental health of the Great Barrier Reef, one of Australia’s most treasured natural wonders, will begin screening nationally today.

The Great Barrier Reef Image credit: flickr User: Vivienne
The Great Barrier Reef
Image credit: flickr User: Vivienne

The Great Barrier Reef is a foundation for a large and complex ecosystem, with around 3000 coral reefs and 600 types of hard and soft coral. The health of the Great Barrier Reef has been a major concern, allowing certain environmentalists to paint a false picture regarding the major causes for coral loss.

According to the media release by the QRC, the commercials were authorized as a result of an admitted “scaremongering campaign” by certain environmental activist groups.

“The activists’ stated objective is to shut down Queensland’s export coal and gas industries. The Great Barrier Reef is convenient and emotional leverage for the campaign following a 2012 report that found the reef had lost 47% of its coral over the preceding 27 years. The authors of that report– the Australian Institute of Marine Science and Wollongong University– are unequivocal in attributing the blame for that coral loss to storms (48%), crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks (42%) and coral bleaching (10%),” said QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche.

The Queensland Government released the Queensland Ports Strategy in late 2013 that will serve as a blueprint for managing and improving the efficiency and environmental management of the ports network over the next decade.

“Activists are ignoring the scientific evidence and blatantly peddling the line to Australian and international audiences that port developments, dredging and shipping are endangering the reef. The message from Queensland is as clear as it has ever been– there is no dredging of coral reefs or seagrass and no disposal of dredge spoil on coral reefs, seagrass or other environmentally sensitive areas. Neither an increase in shipping traffic nor port dredging has been scientifically recorded as contributing to coral cover loss or a historical decline in the environmental health of the Great Barrier Reef,” said Mr Roche.

“The scientific work into the ongoing environmental management of the Great Barrier Reef is no secret, and that is why we are asking Australians to learn more from the Queensland Government’s Reef Facts website.”