Great Barrier Reef Disaster: The Biggest Threats Facing The Reef (PHOTOS)
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Chinese ship Shen Neng 1 ran aground in the Great Barrier Reef late Saturday, leaking oil into the world's largest reef system. According to WWF Australia, the reef has 1,500 species of fish, 359 types of hard coral, one third of the world's soft corals, 175 bird species, six of the world's seven species of threatened marine turtle, more than 30 species of marine mammals, 5,000 to 8,000 molluscs and thousands of different sponges, worms, crustaceans, 800 species of echinoderms and 215 bird species.
With so much at stake, many are concerned over how much damage the ship's presence could inflict on the pristine, rich environment, with experts predicting it could take weeks to clean up the mess. The incident highlights just how fragile the massive reef is to foreign invaders, whether they be humans, invasive species, or even sediment. As part of Our Oceans week, we're taking a look at the biggest threats facing the Great Barrier Reef. What do you think is the biggest potential danger to the world's largest reef system?