The Great Barrier Reef is potentially home to a plethora of advances to medical science that could hold the key to our own healthy future. Isn’t that reason enough to ensure its ongoing survival?
Credit: Image of the Great Barrier Reef is by Greens MPs
So begins an article written by Dr Ken Winkel and Dr Marion Carey about the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and the threats it faces in the online publication, Wild.
Some of the points the article makes are that the Reef
-is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem, containing 3,000 separate reefs, fringed by 54 per cent of world mangrove biodiversity, sustains 6,000 square kilometres of sea grass beds, is home to over 1,500 fish and 600 coral species and contributes $6 billion and 70,000 jobs to Australia’s economy.
-is facing unprecedented threats from climate change-related warming and acidification, subsequent coral bleaching, mining pollution, agricultural runoff and coastal development.
-is facing a number of threats, including the decision to build new ports for fossil fuel export, combined with dredge and dump sediment in the World Heritage Area, and groundwater deregulation.
-supports human health in many other ways: food and nutrition; natural hazard and climate protection; physical recreation; psychological, spiritual, and cultural enrichment, and as a source of new medical compounds, including pain killers, antimicrobials and anti-cancer agents.
DEA thanks Wild for permission to publish the link on our website. To read the story in full, please visit: https://www.wild.com.au/feature/article/protecting-the-great-barrier-reef-for-the-future-of-health
About the writers
Dr Ken Winkel is a leading Australian toxinologist and the director of the Australian Venom Research Unit at the University of Melbourne.
Dr Marion Carey is a public health physician and an adjunct associate professor at Monash University.
They are both members of Doctors for the Environment Australia.