Great Barrier Reef : An Environmental History
The Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia and is the world's largest coral reef system. Designated a World Heritage Site, it has been subject to increasing pressures from tourism, fishing and climate change, and is now protected as a marine park. This book provides an original account of the environmental history of the Great Barrier Reef, based on extensive archival and oral history research.
It documents and explains the main changes in the environments and ecosystems of the reef, with a particular focus on the period since European settlement. The time scale considered is primarily that of the main European impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, with a particular focus on the century from 1860 to 1960 which has not previously been fully documented, in contrast to the later period for which substantial scientific literature is available.
More recent decades, when anthropogenic changes on the Great Barrier Reef spread, accelerated and intensified, are also reviewed along with implications for current management and conservation practices. The author provides a compelling narrative of how one of the world's most iconic and vulnerable ecosystems has been first exploited and then protected.