The Marine Biology of the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest marine protected area and is home to thousands and thousands of marine creatures, including 1,500 species of fish, 400 species of coral, 500 species of seaweed, and 215 species of bird amongst other things. The Marine Park surrounding the Great Barrier Reef was founded in 1975, and today remains a stalwart part of protecting the region and its inhabitants – no easy feat when it stretches for more than 2,300 kilometres along Australia’s coastline.

There are more than 2,900 individual reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef, each of which boasts its own selection of corals, fish species, and other marine life, making the region one of the most vibrant, diverse underwater landscapes in the world.

Why Coral Reefs Are Important

Corals reefs are important for a number of reasons. Not only do they provide a home and a natural habitat for thousands and thousands of sea creatures, but they also protect coastlines from waves and tropical storms.

The Great Barrier Reef – and Australia in general – forms a very active part of Marine Biology education and conservation, with hundreds of different projects taking place to continuously protect the coastline, the corals, and the creatures that live in them. With more than 4,000 types of fish in the waters around Australia and 58 seagrass species, there is a lot at stake, meaning the ocean surrounding Australia (including the Great Barrier Reef) needs to be carefully managed and protected.

Projects That Study the Marine Biology of the Great Barrier Reef

There are numerous companies and non-profits that dedicate themselves to researching and conserving the waters of the Great Barrier Reef and the creatures that live there. The Australian Marine Conservation Society is one such organisation. As the leading non-profit of its kind in the country, it promotes the study and conservation of all aquatic life in Australia and the Great Barrier Reef to the general public, and influences decision makers through consistent research and scientific facts drawn from studies.

The Great Barrier Marine Park Authority solely focuses on the water and marine life of the Great Barrier Reef. It acts as the principal advisor to the government about the goings-on in the Reef and provides protection and conservation to the diverse selection of species that live there.

The marine biology of the Great Barrier Reef is diverse and constantly changing, meaning conservation efforts consistently have to be updated and observed in order to make sure this stunning natural wonder keeps providing the perfect habitat for its thousands of sea creatures.