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Marine Ecology – Port Noarlunga Reef: Should it remain a reserve?

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Port Noarlungareef should essentially remain a reserve and not endangered by vile acts by humans. The unique Reef has been established for over 36 years, and is also one of Adelaide’s main attractions. Therefore it has a right to be free of endangerment.

Port Noarlunga Reef was established in 1971, on the eastern side of Gulf St Vincent. This narrow reef was known to be formed from a sand dune; thus, a sandstone reef. The reef is 1.6km long, lying 400m offshore. Although permitted activities such as fishing are allowed, it is only permitted within a certain area of the reef where the organisms aren’t endangered. This is why the reef is divided into two separate regions for the organism’s protection. The reserve is inhabited with various heterotrophs and autotrophs within different parts of the reef: The algal-mussel community (black mussel, Coralline) are occupied by the flat reef top area. The kelp plants occupy the outer reef slope area. Brown algae occupy the inside edge of the reef. Sponges, hydroids, and molluscs also inhabit various reef regions, as well as reef fish.

The ecosystem of the reef is fairly straight forward. The main energy source for the producers of the reef (Algae, Kelp, and Plankton) is sunlight and water which provide them with nutrients. The producers provide resourceful energy for organisms (Warreners, Elephant Snail, and Sea Urchin), in order for them to survive. These organisms are eaten by the marine carnivore organisms (Common Sea Star, Dog Winkle) for sufficient energy. Birds and Fish gain their energy by obtaining most of these heterotrophs and autotrophs. The characteristics of the ecosystem play a big part in order for the ecosystem to survive.

Port Noarlunga reef should retain as a sanctuary. This reserve is unique to Adelaide. Jakon Johan States “Reefs comprise some of the densest and most diverse habitats in the world.” This reserve should remain a reef is unfair to the marine organisms. How would we feel if someone came to our house and decided to trash it? These habitats of marine organisms would also be damaged and endangered, along with their ecosystem: Without producers the ecosystem would die out. Without consumers, there would be excess numbers of producers Robert Hughes quotes “These Marine Organisms should also be able to go through Natural change. Evolution is one thing that we as humans should not interfere in, and is something we rely upon”.

It is also wise to consider the value for study. With this research, we can achieve a greater understanding of the relationships between the organisms. R.Carson quotes” study of organisms for their usefulness to humans and the effects of human activity on marine environments.” We would benefit great advantages due to this. Studying Marine life of the organisms in the reef is also necessary and important. This is relevant as these marine organisms affect our society; since they produce most of the oxygen we need.

Many people perceive reefs as natural wonders. It is known that hundreds and thousands of tourists visit the reef just to see the unique marine organisms. Therefore, if Port Noarlunga reef was to be stripped of its current state, then there would be a great loss in attraction and tourism.

In conclusion, it is our job to make sure that any damage done to the reef is prohibited. Human interference of the reef has proved to be devastating. There is a very high chance of destroying the entire ecosystem of the reef if it is harmed. Furthermore, if we don’t protect this reef, then thousands of species will be endangered.

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