Star Struck

It took just 27 years for the Great Barrier Reef to lose half its coral. Around 48 per cent of the loss was due to storms, 42 per cent due to the crown of thorns starfish and 10 per cent by bleaching. It is feared that if the trend continues coral cover could further halve by 2022.

Researchers say that of all these factors only controlling the starfish population is in their hands and methods to control that are needed. In the absence of crown of thorns, coral cover would increase at 0.89 per cent per year.


Down to Earth, October 2012