A key claim in a January 2016 article in the scientific journal, Nature, is that there are no longer any living colonies of Acropora – a particular type of coral – at Stone Island off Bowen Harbour in the Whitsundays, and that other corals are now covered in mud.
Claims of catastrophic coral bleaching have been terrible for local tourism, driving people away. Agriculture is also being blamed and, as a result of papers like the one published in Nature, the Queensland government is creating even more red tape and compliance for farmers tackle.
Peter Ridd’s path to dismissal by James Cook University began with an email questioning claims that the corals at Stone Island.
Jennifer Marohasy and her team went to find out the true state of the coral reefs around Stone Island.
What they found contradicts the Nature paper and proves this key reef system is very much alive.
Dr Jennifer Marohasy is a senior fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.
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