Great Barrier Reef Set For Worlds Most Ambitious Coral Reef Clean-Up

Logistically challenging

Article heading image for Great Barrier Reef Set For Worlds Most Ambitious Coral Reef Clean-Up

A scarred section of the Great Barrier Reef is about to receive the world’s “most ambitious and large-scale coral reef clean up”.

Damaged more than a decade ago when a Chinese coal carrier ran aground along the Douglas Shoal area of the reef, east of Rockhampton, the clean-up is planned to commence by the middle of 2022.

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Home to 164 species of fish, sharks and rays, 30 species of coral and 50 other protected species include marine turtles, seabirds and whales, the 40ha of spoiled reef will undergo 12 weeks of rehabilitation aimed at clearing debris, cleaning up contaminants and delivering habitat recovery.

“There are no known precedents for remediation on this scale,” a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said.

“The Douglas Shoal environmental remediation project is one of the most ambitious and large-scale coral reef clean-ups every undertaken globally."

“The size of the grounding footprint at Douglas Shoal, its remoteness and difficult sea conditions commonly experienced … means the remediation is logistically challenging and must be carefully planned for the safety of workers and for the protection of the environment,” he said.

Creating headlines around the globe, the 225m Shen Neng 1 ship lost 20 tonnes of antifouling paint and spilled gallons of oil when it struck the Great Barrier Reef, leaving toxic contaminants along the coral floor.

The extraordinary clean-up will be mostly funded from an out-of-court settlement in 2016 with the ship’s owners Shenzhen Energy Transport.

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Hit News Team

16 March 2022

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