Barrier Reef faces ruin

AUSTRALIA'S Great Barrier Reef appears to be experiencing its worst case of coral bleaching. Australian marine scientists say it has hit more than 60 per cent of 3,000 coral reefs on the country's north-east coast. The bleaching is caused by rising sea temperatures and freshwater flooding. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest marine park in the world and is home to more than 300 species of coral, 4,000 shell molluscs, 1,500 species of fish and several endangered species, including dugongs and loggerhead turtles.

- Reuters, Sydney