The chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Russell Reichelt says that activist groups are distorting surveys, maps and data to exaggerate the coral bleaching on the reef.
The bleaching affects 22% of the reef and is mostly localized to the far northern section, which has good prospects of recovery.
Two reef groups are in conflict. One is Reichelt’s GBR Authority, and the other is a special “National Coral Bleaching Taskforce” run by a guy called Terry Hughes. The Australian media was overrun with stories last week about how a report was censored to hide the damage. What was under-reported was the conflict and the propaganda.
The real problem appears to be that yet another agency was set up to find a crisis, and their existence depends on finding one. The Taskforce was set up in October last year.
We have the largest coral reef structure in the world, but sometimes the ABC can’t find a picture of bleaching from it, instead using an image from Samoa (top right). Greenpeace used the same trick.