Australia’s Great Barrier Reef needs more care

Sydney, Sep 21 (IANS) Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is deteriorating due to human activity, a new report released on Monday on the reef’s health has shown.

The overall condition of the Great Barrier Reef’s inshore marine environment remains poor, Xinhua news agency cited the Queensland government report as showing.

The problem was largely due to run-off from farms.

The report assessed the run-off and the condition of the reef between 2009 and 2014, finding that sediment, nutrients and pesticide pollution has decreased, but Queensland was far from meeting its set targets.

Industries trying to reduce run-off will need to improve — for instance, only 14 percent of the sugarcane industry met best practice for nutrient loads.

Grain industries exceeded their pesticides target by 90 percent in the Burdekin region.

Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles, who released the report on Monday, said there was more bad news than good in the report.

“If one of my kids came home with a report card like this, I’d be a bit disappointed,” he said.

“What is most disturbing is these results are far from our targets, and progress to these targets remain static in the period 2013-2014,” Steven said.

“We saw a stalling of progress.”

“Most concern during this period, we saw a loss of riparian vegetation, a loss of trees on the riverbanks leading into the reef during the period when our goal was to increase the number of trees.”

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