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The government's reef monitoring stagnated during the crisis bleach event as the funds dehydrated environment



The Australian Government-funded Marine Park Authority of the Great Barrier Reef has drastically reduced coral bleaching surveys during an unprecedented two-year wave of sea waves as its monitoring program has run out of money.

Authority Field Administration The program carried out more than 660 in-water investigations of reefs in 201

6 during the first of two consecutive mass bleaching sessions. The program's annual report states that these surveys "played a key role in determining the extent of the mortality caused".

In 2017, when mass bleaching and coral extinctions occurred for the first time in successive years, the survey was largely abandoned. 19659002] In 2017, the agency conducted only "opportunistic" studies, relying instead on aerial photographs taken by other respected research organizations.

The field management program, conducted in partnership with the Queensland Government, has spent almost all of its money in the 2016/17 fiscal year. Its annual report states that expenditure was "within 1% of available funds".

Government spending on the Great Barrier Reef remains under review.

The Senate will conduct an investigation into the federal government's decision to grant $ 443.8 million to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, a group with links to the fossil fuel industry. The Chairman's Panel, a Corporate Membership Group, consists of directors and directors of companies such as the Commonwealth Bank, BHP and Shell.

When the foundation's government announced the grant, it provided $ 42.7 million over six years to the GBRMPA (Joint Field Management Program), which monitors, inter alia, the extent of bleaching events

GBRMPA published last June Annual comprehensive glossy report on the bleaching event 2016, based on the 663 in-water reef health and impact surveys conducted by the field management program and supplemented by other research.

A similar report on the 2017 event was promised but not yet published.

The agency said Guardian Australia is a "management agency", not a research institution, and it works regularly with other experts and uses external studies. The agency is expected to do more research but dismiss some scientific staff before bleaching in 2016.


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Within the scientific community, data are regularly shared between the ARC Coral Reef Study Center, the Australian Marine Institute, GBRMPA, and others to give researchers a more meaningful picture of the events.

The agency said in a statement in early March 2017 an aerial photograph in association with the Australian Oceanographic Institute to confirm anecdotal reports of a second wave of mass bleaching.

"From there, the Marine Parks Authority worked with them to create a network of research partners and citizen scientists to provide more information about the location and extent of bleaching."

The agency said its staff had other researchers conducting the Surveys and studies accompanied in 2017.

"Like us, we have received credible and accurate information from others, and our attention in 2017 has been on exploring what management measures can be taken to improve reef resilience."

The stat ement, in which the reasons for the relapse of surveillance in 2017 were addressed, no mention was made of the financing pressure.

The Australian Academy of Sciences, in a submission to the Senate investigation, said that after the back-to-back coral bleaching and mass mortality events, it "was busy with the direction of the attention away from curbing the escalation of the major burdens on the Reef in favor of small restoration projects such as underwater fans, coral sunshades and coral gardens. "

" The Academy is also concerned about the diversion of funds from experienced and well-established community agencies such as the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the CSIRO and the Navy Park Authority of the Great Barrier Reef, in favor of a non-governmental organization. "


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