15 December 2005

Coco and Christmas Island Reefs in better shape than expected

An eight-year research project has found coral reef around the Christmas and Cocos Islands is in much better shape than first thought.

The scientific report by Parks Australia has found the Cocos Keeling reef, off the state's north-west coast, has not been affected by human activities.

The report has been released by Greg Hunt, the Parliamentary secretary to the Federal Environment minister, during the park's 10th anniversary celebrations.

Mr Hunt says the reef shares genetic characteristics with other reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

"And what that means is that if anything were to happen to this reef there is support which can come from other reefs but because this is such a pristine reef it is in a way an incubator and a biological ark for the rest of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific," he said.

Source: www.abc.net.au/news/items


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