The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s biggest coral reef and has 2900 smaller reefs join onto it. It covers over 850 islands and stretches over 2600 kilometres. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland and NSW. The Great Barrier Reef is so big that it can be seen from outer space and is the world’s biggest structure made by living organisms. The Great Barrier Reef is made of billions of minute organisms known as coral polyps. It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981it is also labelled one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National tourist department named it a state icon of Queensland. A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the crash of human use, such as fishing and tourism. The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts; The Great Barrier Reef is crowned with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef.
CLIMATE OF THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
The Great Barrier Reef has a tropical climate, with average temperatures in summer of between 24 and 33 degrees Celsius, in winter the temperature ranges from 14 to 26 degrees. Being a wet tropic climate, there are only 2 seasons, the green and dry season. The Great Barrier Reef takes over 300 days of sunlight per year which only leaves abou 70 days of rain per year.
FLORA AND FAUNA OF THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
FAUNA: Every year many, Whales, Dugongs, Over 200 species of birds inclujust under 50 sea birds, 6 different breeds of turtles, 14 species of sea snakes, over 1500 species of fish, 5000 species of molluscs, 400 species of coral, 60 different species of seaweed and over 600 species of marine algae visit the Great Barrier Reef each year,
FLORA: The Great Barrier Reef has around 450 species of marine algae, red and green algae take up most of the inshore land while red and brown algae take most of the offshore areas. The Great Barrier Reef has the largest extension of Halimeda algae in the world. The Great Barrier Reef has mangroves, 15 species of seagrass [seaweed] and many island plants.
HOW HUMANS UTILISE THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
Recreational fishing plays a giant factor on the Great Barrier Reef, more than 800 000 Queenslanders classify themselves each year as recreational fishers. This leisure activity generates just under $250 million a year to the state of Queensland. 9 big trade routes are located or adjoining the Great Barrier Reef, There is also more than 30 shipwrecks on the Great Barrier Reef. Each and every year over 1.6 million tourists visit the Great Barrier Reef as