A report from Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority finds the greatest risks to the Reef are still climate change, land-based run-off, coastal development, some remaining impacts of fishing and illegal fishing and poaching.
Even with the recent management initiatives to reduce threats and improve resilience, the overall outlook for the Great Barrier Reef is poor, has worsened since 2009 and is expected to further deteriorate, the reports says.
The report, published every five years, is required under Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (section 54) and aims to provide a regular and reliable means of assessing reef health and management in an accountable and transparent way.
For the first time, the report specifically considers the Great Barrier Reef Region’s heritage values, including Indigenous heritage, historic heritage and the area’s world heritage values.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral structure and home to rich marine life
Conservationists also fear that proposed development on the Queensland coast, including a planned coal port expansion at Abbott Point, could further harm its health.
This assessment is new and responds to revised requirements of our Act and the World Heritage Committee requesting an explicit assessment of the area’s outstanding universal value.
The report acknowledges there’s been a range of positive actions since 2009, including government and landholders focusing on improving the quality of water that runs off the land.
The outlook report is available at: http://asp-au.secure-zone.net/v2/index.jsp?id=1342/1518/5784&lng=en