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Reef Report for Friday, November 28, 2008

Comprehensive Field Guide to the Great Barrier Reef is Published
Get a copy before you dive!

The first comprehensive field guide to the Great Barrier Reef has been published this week, and the book is a resource we at DiveTheReef.com have been hoping to see available for a long time.

Titled "The Great Barrier Reef Biology, Environment and Management", the 368-page book is published by the CSIRO, the science wing of the Australian government. © CSIRO Copies can be purchased on line at the CSIRO publishing house for AUD$89.95.

The editors of the book, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, (Director of the University of Queensland’s Centre for Marine Studies), Dr Pat Hutchings, (Australian Museum Senior Principal Research Scientist), and, Professor Michael Kingsford, (Head of the School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture at James Cook University), all contributed key articles, as well as edited contributions from 32 other reef experts from around the world. Themes covered include threats and issues concerning the reef such as coral bleaching, coral diseases and the challenges of coral reef fisheries.

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg, said the book provided readers with a broad overview of the biological and physical attributes of the reef and where relevant, other reefs around the world.

"By understanding it better through resources like this book, we stand a better chance of preserving this wondrous ecosystem for all time."

All royalties received from sales of the book will go to the Australian Coral Reef Society. to fund student research on the reef.

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said the book would allow people to identify common plants and animals on the reef and learn about some of the management systems that could be used to protect and preserve the reef for future generations.

"We have learnt a great deal about the Great Barrier Reef over the past three decades. This book pulls together not only the taxonomy of coral reef organisms but also the important ecological processes that are involved in this vast and complex ecosystem. Importantly, it also reviews the threats and management options that face us as we deal with issues such as human population growth and climate change," Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said.

We recommend that anyone who wants to learn more about the reef prior to their visit order a copy.

Coverage of this story by The University of Queensland.

(C) DiveTheReef The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com, who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as  many other local sources in the dive community.

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