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Great Barrier Reef - 3.Version - Referat

The Great Barrier Reef

Some facts about the reef:
• The Aborigines called it “Waga Gaboo”, the great reef.
• The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space
• It‘s sometimes called as the single largest organism in the world
• CNN has labelled it as one of the seven natural wonders of the world
• In 1981 the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Culture Organization) selected it as a World Heritage Site
Where is the Reef located?
• The reef is located in the Coral Sea, on the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia
• The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, composed of 3.000 individual reefs and 900 islands.
• But there are just a few islands allowed to visit for the protection of the reef.
• Its over 2000 kilometres long and covers an area of 344.400 square miles and is bigger then Italy
• The amazing array of coral on the Great Barrier Reef is responsible for many of the bright and beautiful colours that this natural icon is internationally renowned for
• About 600 different types of coral can be found in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and all of them come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.
• Despite looking like plants, these corals are actually colonies of very small animals called coral polyps which are closely related to jellyfish.
• In the reef live over 2000 types of fishes and almost 10.000 types of rare aquatic animals.
For exemple:
1. Marine Fish ( Like Nemo)
2. Tiger sharks
3. Seahorses
4. Turtles
• A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrieeef Marine Park.
• The reef arose ago 20 million years, but just one part another part is just 600.000 years old.
• The reef was discovered between 1766 and 1769 by the Frenchman Louis Antoine de Bougainville.
• But the name it has got from Matthew Flinders, who made a map of the reef in the 19 century.
• In this time the reef was a big danger for the sailors and not passable. So many ships sank. (Things like this happens also today. Between 1985 and 2001 were many accidents of ships in the reef, but this was human error.)

The Destruction of the reef:
• Corals need to live clean and at least 20 degree warm water, but because of global warming, water pollution and overfishing, explorer think, that the reef will be completely destroyed in 50 years.
• 50.000 coral reef communities are destroyed because of tourists. And also because of diving, boats, hurricanes and drilling for oil

Every year 8 million tourists visit the reef and in 2003 they spent over 4 million Australian dollar.

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