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AUSTRALIA HISTORY: Four infamous ‘ Shipwrecks’ found on ‘Great Barrier Reef’ Yet its name infers something quite different – a barrier: treacherous, dynamic and dangerous to navigate #AceHistoryDesk report

#AceHistoryReport – Feb.06: The Great Barrier Reef is incredible, with turquoise water, stunning reefs and white sandy cays. Yet its name infers something quite different – a barrier: treacherous, dynamic and dangerous to navigate.

#AceHistoryDesk from ‘ Australia’s Titanic’ to deadly mutineers, these shipwrecks on the Great Barrier Reef hold a wealth of knowledge: Throughout the past 230 years, over 1,200 vessels met their end on the reef – but only 114 have been found.

From a tragic maritime disaster south-east of Townsville, a vibrant reef was born at the wreck of SS Yongala. Image credit: Darren Jew

For millennia, people navigated and traded across the northern coast of Australia and the Coral Sea. 

When early European seafarers came face-to-face with the world’s largest coral reef system, it was not the beauty they saw, but a nearly unnavigable structure that could easily sink their ships. 

Each site holds the potential for a wealth of archaeological and historic heritage, as well as tales of disaster, death and lessons learnt about the reef. Preservation, future management and care of these sites is essential.

Our shipwrecks should be visited and enjoyed by the public, yet we should also strive to protect them for the future. We can never replace these sites – once gone they are lost forever. Here are four particularly infamous shipwrecks on the Great Barrier Reef. 

HMS Pandora (1791)

Painting of a sinking ship
HMS Pandora Sinking, by Oswald Brett. (Image credit: Queensland Museum Network)

The tale of HMS Pandora is the lesser known – yet perhaps more disastrous – sequel to the infamous maritime tale of the “Mutiny on the Bounty”. 

Pandora was the Royal Navy ship sent to hunt down the Bounty mutineers in 1791. After months of searching the south pacific and finding only 14 of the mutineers, Captain Edwards turned for home via passage through the Torres Strait. 

The 24-gun frigate ran aground onto the reef, eventually sinking in 30 metres of water. One mutineer and 35 crew lost their lives, and the survivors made a phenomenal journey in long boats to Indonesia (then Java). Archaeologists excavating a ceramic oil jar from the Pandora shipwreck. (Image credit: Queensland Museum Network) 

Archaeologists excavating a ceramic oil jar from the Pandora shipwreck. (Image credit: Queensland Museum Network)

The ship was lost to history until divers searching for the site found it buried beneath sand and well-preserved in 1977. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, archaeological excavations provided a wealth of informationabout life on-board a naval ship in the 18th century. 

Artefacts from the wreck include an enormous six-pounder cannon, ceramics, belt buckles, ivory instruments and even delicate organics like rope and cloth. 

To date, Pandora is the earliest known shipwreck on the Great Barrier Reef.

SS Gothenburg (1875)

Perhaps one of the most horrific shipwrecks to occur on the Great Barrier Reef is SS Gothenburg. 

Built in the UK in 1854, the 60 metre long steam ship operated as a regular passenger service between Australia and New Zealand, and later between Adelaide and Darwin. Gothenburg’s fateful last voyage was a trip from Darwin to Melbourne carrying 37 crew and 98 passengers, including some of Darwin’s elite citizens, as well as 93 kilograms of gold valued at £40,000 (A$1,000,000 today).An illustration of SS Gothenburg. Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil (Melbourne, Vic. : 1873 – 1889), Saturday 20 March 1875

An illustration of SS Gothenburg. Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil (Melbourne, Vic. : 1873 – 1889), Saturday 20 March 1875

Gothenburg encountered cyclonic weather and struck reef southeast of Townsville. The crew attempted to reverse the vessel off the reef, which ultimately damaged the hull further. Worsening weather pushed the steamer further onto the reef, sweeping people into the ocean. 

Although one lifeboat made it out, help arrived too late and only 22 people survived. Grisly details arose of bodies seen still clinging to the staircase as salvage divers investigated the wreck to recover the gold. 

Gothenburg was found in 1971 by divers sitting in 9 to 16 metres of water and identified in 1978. Maritime archaeologists continue to learn from Gothenburg: the wreck provides insight into life onboard a steam ship in Australia and management of iron steamships in reef environments.

Foam (1893)

Artists interpretation of what Foam may have looked like. (Image credit: Queensland Museum Network)

Artists interpretation of what Foam may have looked like. (Image credit: Queensland Museum Network) 

In 1893, a wooden topsail schooner ran aground on Myrmidon Reef east of Townsville. The shipwreck remained undiscovered in six metres of water until identified as Foam in 1982.

Diver ensures artefacts are carefully raised from the Foam Shipwreck. (Image credit: Queensland Museum Network) 

Foam is the only known wreck on the Great Barrier Reef of a Queensland vessel engaged in the labour trade at the time of its demise. Its discovery helped shed light on the recruitment and transport of indentured labourers from the South Sea Islands, known as blackbirding

Among the artefacts collected from the wreck were many ceramic armbands used for trade. 

Maritime archaeologists now know these armbands were European copies of the shell armbands traditionally used by South Sea Islanders as indicators of status or for trade: the Europeans were introducing counterfeit copies into the Islanders’ exchange systems. 

Foam continues to reveal information about the labour trade and influences at the time. One of the ceramic armbands (MA3279) in the state collection. (Image credit: Queensland Museum Network) 

SS Yongala (1911)

One of the ceramic armbands (MA3279) in the state collection. (Image credit: Queensland Museum Network)

SS Yongala disappeared without a trace in March 1911, likely having encountered an unexpected cyclone. Known as “Australia’s Titanic”, all 122 people on board disappeared without a trace. The location of the 100 meter long steamship remained a mystery until discovered lying in 30 meters of water off Alva Beach in the 1950s. 

Divers around the bow of the Yongala shipwreck. (IMage credit: Maddy McAllister)

Today, the haunting grave site has become a unique oasis.

Yongala is one of the most intact historic shipwrecks in Australian waters and ongoing research is exploring how it has become the habitat for a remarkably diverse range of marine life (particularly coral). The wreck is ranked as one of the top ten best wreck dives worldwide.

Maddy McAllister, Senior Curator – Maritime Archaeology, James Cook University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

#AceHistoryDesk report ……….Published: Feb.06: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) Great Barrier Reef Report: Country will spend A$1bn (£520m; $700m) over nine years on improving the water quality and other aspects of the ailing condition PM says #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Jan.31: PM Scott Morrison argued the new investment would have broad benefits: There are 64,000 jobs that depend on that reef,” Mr Morrison said on Friday: And so its health is about the economic health of that region, as well as the natural health of that region.”

#AceDailyNews BBC (Australia) News Report: Scientists have welcomed the money but warn it does not tackle the reef’s overriding threat of climate change: A climate laggard among rich nations, Australia is often criticised for not doing more to prevent coral bleaching caused by warmer seas

So why is the Great Barrier Reef in trouble?

A diver on the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems

It will fund projects that reduce erosion and pollutants entering the sea, and other conservation efforts – such as combating illegal fishing and coral-eating starfish.

Mr Morrison is expected to call a general election in May and will hope to retain key seats in Queensland, where the reef is located. He said the new money added to A$2bn in existing commitments. 

But Friday’s announcement also comes days before Australia is due to update Unesco on its plans to preserve its natural wonder.

Last year the government successfully lobbied to keep the reef off Unesco’s official list of World Heritage sites “in danger”, drawing controversy after unprecedented back-to-back coral bleaching events.

Renewed criticism followed Friday’s announcement. The Australian Conservation Foundation said improving water quality was important “but without climate action the reef is doomed”. 

The Australian Marine Conservation Society said tackling erosion was “a gap that needed to be addressed” but called on the government to “drastically increase their climate ambition”.

“Currently areas of the Great Barrier Reef are on high alert for a major bleaching event, which is unprecedented during the La Nina weather pattern,” it said in a statement. 

Bleaching occurs when under-stress corals expel the algae living within them that gives them colour and life. They can recover but only if conditions allow it.

Australia has committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions, but its 2030 commitment – a 26% cut on 2005 levels – has been criticised as weak.

It has defended itself by arguing it is on track to meet its commitments – a claim previously disputed by the UN – and that climate change is a global issue.

Stretching over 2,300km (1,400 miles) off Australia’s north-east coast, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Jan.31: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) Great Barrier Reef Report: China is weaponising UN Protection its being claimed they are trying to get it declared in danger for opposing South China Sea ambitions #AceNewsDesk report

Australia 🇦🇺

#AceNewsReport – June.30: A secret push by China to have Australia’s Great Barrier Reef declared ‘in danger’ could cripple the Far North’s multi-billion dollar tourist economy and affect over 64,000 local jobs.

BEIJING: China’s ongoing effort to punish Australia for opposing their South China Sea territorial ambitions has now allegedly extended to stacking the UN Heritage Committee against the country…….

By uwe.roland.gross June.26, 2021

China News

Great Barrier Reef

Beijing has been plotting with a China-chaired United Nations committee to have the environmental health status of the world-renowned coral reef downgraded, in a blatant effort to bypass the normal channels of the World Heritage Committee.

This has happened without proper scientific scrutiny or consolation, it is claimed, with any downgrading likely to threaten tourism and jobs. 

The ploy took Australian government officials by surprise, who first learned about the clandestine scheme on Friday, The Australian reported.…

This alleged abuse obviously has wider implications. If the United Nations ever receives greater powers to police global CO2 emissions, or if there are any other transfers of sovereignty to the United Nations, I think we now have a good indication of who will wield those new UN powers.

#AcenewsDesk report ……….Published: Jun.30: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

The Great Australian Barrier Reef

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Global Warming & Climate Change

AUSTRALIA) IUCN REPORT: Climate Change Threat to ‘Great Barrier Reef’ becoming a ‘Global Threat’ as temperatures of our seas rise from shrinking glaciers to coral bleaching to increasingly frequent and severe fires and droughts creating disasters across the whole world #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Ap.05: Natural World Heritage sites are amongst the world’s most precious places, and we owe it to future generations to protect them,” said Bruno Oberle, IUCN Director General. “The IUCN World Heritage Outlook 3 reveals the damage climate change is wreaking on natural World Heritage, from shrinking glaciers to coral bleaching to increasingly frequent and severe fires and droughts. As the international community defines new objectives to conserve biodiversity, this report signals the urgency with which we must tackle environmental challenges together at the planetary scale.”

Ace says ……..Climate change now top threat to natural World Heritage according to IUCN report: The IUCN World Heritage Outlook 3 builds on previous reports from 2014 and 2017 to track whether the conservation of the world’s 252 natural World Heritage sites is sufficient to protect them in the long term. It finds that climate change has overtaken invasive species as the top threat to natural World Heritage: About IUCN World Heritage Outlook
IUCN is the official advisor on nature to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in March this year made reference to the first global scientific assessment of its World Heritage marine sites’ blue carbon ecosystems, highlighting the critical environmental value of these habitats. While these sites represent less than 1% of the world’s ocean, they host at least 21% of the world’s blue carbon ecosystem area, and 15% of the world’s blue carbon assets’

GBR corals

Photo: Kristin Hoel / Unsplash

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Photo: Kristin Hoel / Unsplash

Among the 83 natural World Heritage sites now threatened by climate change is the Great Barrier Reef, where ocean warming, acidification and extreme weather have contributed to dramatic coral decline, and as a result decreasing populations of marine species. In the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas of South Africa, climate change has exacerbated the spread of invasive species, while the Pantanal Conservation Area of Brazil was badly damaged by the unprecedented 2019-2020 wildfires. In Kluane Lake, located in a World Heritage site in Canada and the USA, the rapidly melting Kaskawulsh Glacier has changed the river flow, depleting fish populations.

The IUCN Outlook assesses the prospects for World Heritage site values – the unique features which have earned them their World Heritage status – based on threats, and how good protection and management is. It assesses 63% of sites as either “good” or “good with some concerns”, while 30% are of “significant concern” and 7% are “critical”. Half of the sites are found to have “effective” or “highly effective” protection and management, with the sustainability of the sites’ funding being the most common issue rated as a “serious concern”. The Outlook finds that 16 natural World Heritage sites have deteriorated since 2017, while only eight have improved.

The report also finds early evidence of the effects of the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While lower tourist numbers may ease pressure on some ecosystems, in more cases impacts appear negative. Closing sites to tourism causes significant revenue loss, and illegal activities are on the rise with fewer staff deployed to prevent them.

“The findings of the IUCN World Heritage Outlook 3 point to a dire need for adequate resources to manage our irreplaceable natural areas,” said Peter Shadie, Director of IUCN’s World Heritage Programme. “Many natural World Heritage sites show that conservation can and does work for the greater good, and their achievements serve as models that can be replicated and scaled up elsewhereWe need more inspiring examples like Comoé National Park in Côte d’Ivoire to ensure a brighter future for nature’s finest.”

The outlook of Comoé National Park continues to improve and is now “good with some concerns” after moving from “critical” in 2014 to “significant concern” in 2017. Thanks to political stability, effective management and international support, populations of chimpanzees, elephants and buffalos are stable, and rare birds are starting to return.

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
IUCN Press office
Tel: +41 (22) 999 0392, Mobile: +41 (79) 536 01 17press@iucn.org

IUCN World Heritage Outlook is IUCN’s independent assessment of natural World Heritage, updated every three years since 2014. It does not constitute advice to the World Heritage Committee. The IUCN World Heritage Outlook includes a report and online Conservation Outlook Assessments for every natural site on the World Heritage List. Before the IUCN World Heritage Outlook, less than half of these sites were regularly tracked through joint monitoring by UNESCO and IUCN. The assessments are desk-based and involve hundreds of assessors and reviewers, including experts of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas and Species Survival Commission, IUCN Members, site managers, non-governmental organisations and government authorities.

Natural World Heritage sites are globally recognised as the world’s most important protected areas, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for their unique natural values, such as the scale of natural habitats, intactness of ecological processes, viability of populations of rare species, as well as exceptional natural beauty.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Apr.05: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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