Ecosystem and Human Social Health Indicators
The study of the ecosystem and particularly the Great Barrier Reef reveals a balanced environmental phenomenon. Many of the fisheries at the Great Barrier Reef depend greatly on the health performance of other part and features on the region’s ecosystem. The ecosystem shows a unique kind of mutual dependency having many functions and components of the ecosystem adopting a reliance on fishery species, total population and performance health.
Human activities have had a significant impact to coral reef’s ecosystems in general. The Great Barrier Reef is of no exception as far as human pollution problem is concern. Humans have added a vast number of harmful pollutants in the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem as well as the ocean. The ocean pollutant has a great damage to the coral reefs and their fragile ecosystem .
Another way the human has adversely affected the social health setting of the Great Barrier Reef is through Deforestation. Deforestation has many effects in terms of coral reef destruction, though indirect the effects cause degradation to the Great Barrier Reef settings. The effects include; Sediment runoff which bring many natural as well as toxic components that usually have great harm to the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. Sedimentation also builds up at the mouth of the rivers leading into the ocean. Mining and farming also causes another category of coral reef pollutants where minerals get into rivers and eventually flows into the ocean.
Farming however causes more serious and specific negative effects. The pollution results from nutrient runoff from components of the fertilizers used. The fertilizers usually add nitrogenous and phosphorous compounds into the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. These nutrients results in massive algae growth leading to the depletion of the oxygen available in the water for other aquatic animals. This phenomenon results in decreased biodiversity around coral reef’s ecosystem. Algae also blossoms and takes over sections of the coral reef which results in the blocking of sunlight and hurting the ability of the ecosystem to survive.
The Great Barrier Reef’s coral reefs also encounter a hard time in trying to survive petroleum pollution and leaks caused by mankind during the transportation of petroleum products (Smith, 1842). The petroleum leaks as well as combination of other chemicals are usually dumped into the ocean due to their toxicity to the environment. The general human pollution is one of the outstanding factors involving the survival of Great Barrier Reefs as extreme toxic and harsh pollution conditions are subjected to the ecosystem of the coral reefs.
However, the ecosystems health as well as productivity is correctly determined by the vulnerability of the ecosystems and the supporting groups and species. These groups include sea cucumbers, coral and apex predators. The interdependence of these factors is of paramount importance to the survival and the overall performance of the ecosystem in the region. The analysis of the Great Barrier Reef provides a suitable plat-form for the evaluation of resilience to the ecosystem that the fishery species and setting plays. The evaluation is also a suitable parameter for coming up with the appropriate strategies for the Great Barrier Reef protection and a means of improving the fisheries productivity.
The Complex Adaptive System of the Great Barrier Reef
As an iconic ecosystem the Great Barrier ecosystem faces a number of threats ranging from water overharvesting, climatic change and the declining water quality that alters the aquatic life setting and the reef ecosystem. The barrier reef ecosystem is for that reason is in need of competent management skills. The various constraints encountered by the Great Barrier Reef are all from the destructive nature of human beings. The growing local and international demand for water for instance is the cause of the increased pressure on water overharvesting. Water quality has been affected by the increased demand for mineral commodities and agricultural policies. Climate change has been caused by adaptation and mitigation actions from the local to global scales. Various levels of management have been put in place as a means of averting these challenges via adopting specific resolution mechanism and policies. Effects of Great Barrier Reef arising from land and natural resource management have been by the state. The resource includes the fishery resources. The Great Barrier Reef marine park authority which is a federal government authority takes care of the waters in the national marine as well as the reef’s tourism affair. The water quality situation is accessed by the reef water quality protection plan. This initiative started in 2003 and involves all levels of government, scientist, indigenous groups as well as industries.
Through proper policies the Great Barrier Reef has adjusted to potential damage which faced the coral reef and defined ways of coping with the consequences.
Due to the fact that the great barrier reef suffered great set backs in terms of management and exploitive approach initially adopted by the local and international players, consolidated policies were adapted to handle the escalating trend of resource degradation. The policies were formulated in an adaptive nature to ensure the region continued to enjoy the benefit of the great barrier while at the same time adapting to more stringent measures in terms of resource management. The adapted policies were able to contain the depletion and pollution effects of the reef as well as to overhaul the coral reef ecosystem.
Saving the great reef of extinction is one of the major challenges that could cost Australia millions of money. After the UN report on the danger posed by the pollution on the sea by the human activities, the run against time has been stepped up in the country. Basically the reef has been beneficial to the residents for years; the economic importance of the reef in the country especially the industries using the reef as their raw materials. The stewardship plan by the Australian authorities could create a major opportunity for the reef to be saved from the situation. The plan depends on the government commitment but more importantly the implementation of the plan.
The involvement of the local fishermen in the plan would play an important role in reaching out to a sustainable advancement. The fishermen would be recognized by the government and be given the opportunity to lead in nurturing the reef. The reason why the fishermen are efficient is because of the frequent visit to the areas. It will be more effective compared to the use of the government officials who rarely visit the reef.
Since some of the major pollutants in the sea are the pesticides and other farm inputs, it would be necessary to control the mode of farming in the country in order to curb the spread of the disaster. Notably, the protection will enhance the quality of the water in the sea. Global warming is a global challenge though its adverse effects are evident in the country. As a result, the country has to deal with its local emission of the carbon gas to reduce the direct effect of the latter. The government has to protect the sea by intruding sanctuaries in the sea which in turn will create opportunities. Basically the protection of the sea would foster more development against the problems facing the reef. The process of saving the reef has more opportunities depending on the ambitions of the people. It would be important if the people decide to take responsibility in saving the spectacular feature that is known not only in Australia but also globally.
In order to reduce degradation reef, the government has to take an action as a way of protecting the reef. The protection should involve; lifestyle, farming and the industrial emission. Some of the recommended actions include:
- Setting strict laws governing emission of the CO2 from the industries. The laws should extend a direct responsibility to the organizations using the feature as their raw material.
- The government should encourage alternative farming activities to avoid pollution caused by the land erosion and activities. Avoid the use of pesticides, new methods of farming should be encouraged, which includes the use of the genetically modified method.
- Moderation of the fishing industry; the fishermen should be controlled from their action in order to avoid overfishing thus posing a serious challenge to the reef. In order for the sanction to work, the government should employ a more understanding criterion with the fisher as well as impose more strict rules to control the industry.
- The consumers of the fish and the reef should be educated on the threat that the reef is facing and the appropriate action being taken to contain the challenge. The move will affect them both negatively and positively but the benefits are expected to overhaul the latter.
- A special care should be provided to the reef which includes: government direct action on over fishing, industrial pollution and any other break of the law governing regarding the natural resource.