A sugar rush has been unleashed on the world’s oceans, with a glut of fresh water flooding into rivers and coastal waters in a move that is threatening to wipe out native species.
The unprecedented water-intensive harvest from Australia’s sugar crop is creating a new crisis for the environment and threatening to destroy the world-famous coral reefs, the nation’s environment minister has said.
A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said the country was struggling to control the growing amount of water that had been dumped on the oceans by the new, unprecedented harvesting.
“Australia has a lot of natural resources and we are trying to manage the resource well but we have to keep them out of the ocean,” she said.
“This has created a massive influx of water and a huge problem with the marine life that we know of.”
We’re in a water crisis.
“The Australian Institute of Marine Science has warned that the rapid water flow from the sugar crop was creating a “sugar rush” that was harming coral reefs.”
If we keep this up for too long it will be the same situation we’ve been having for over 100 years now,” IMS Marine Science scientist Dr Richard Aitken said.”[It’s] a problem we have had for decades, so we’re really in a situation where we’re going to have to manage that for the rest of the century.””
There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a disaster in the making for the oceans.
“Dr Aiten said the growing influx of fresh waters had been “tremendously harmful” to coral reefs in Australia, particularly the iconic Great Barrier Reef.”
A lot of the coral is going to die’The Australian Government has admitted the situation was “unprecedented” and said the Government was “not prepared” for the water to flood the nation.””
This has been a disaster for the reef.”‘
A lot of the coral is going to die’The Australian Government has admitted the situation was “unprecedented” and said the Government was “not prepared” for the water to flood the nation.
“It’s a really, really unusual situation,” Environment Minister Frydenbeg said.
Mr Frydenbrings comments come after the Federal Government said it was preparing for a new round of water restrictions after it emerged the country’s largest water-collecting farm, the Port Pirie Sugar Co, was producing far more sugar than it could safely handle.
“Our response has been to set up a system where we can’t collect water,” Environment minister Greg Hunt said.
The Government said the water would be diverted from the Port Moor area and the Port of Pirie area.
“I’ve had a number of discussions with industry and other water managers around how to manage this situation and how we manage this,” Mr Hunt said on Tuesday.
“Some of the water will be diverted into a system of water storage ponds that are in place at Port Piria and Port Moor.”
The Government is currently negotiating with the Australian Sugar Industry Association (ASIA) to ensure the water was treated properly, but Mr Hunt has warned the problem was “further out than we expected”.
“It will be quite a while before we see it all collected and sorted,” he told reporters.
“There will be some very challenging days ahead.”
The sugar harvest has been the cause of a “massive algae bloom” at a nearby mine, which is also impacting native wildlife.
The sugar industry is hoping to secure a new contract with the federal Government to produce cane sugar in Port Piries sugar plantation.
Mr Hunt said the industry had a “very good relationship” with the Government.
“What we’ve seen in recent years is a lot more sugar being harvested in Port Moor than it has been in Port Moresby,” he added.
“Port Moresman has a much greater population of native birds than Port Piriades plantation has, so there’s a lot that we can learn from that.”‘
We’ve got a lot going on’Australia has been inundated by a bumper harvest of cane sugar harvested in the Northern Territory, and it has resulted in the extinction of native species, including a threatened species of giant water turtle.
The new crop, known as kahuna, is one of the most valuable crops in the world.
The NT Government is also worried that the new crop will affect the Great Barrier Islands, which have a long history of native wildlife and the unique habitat for kahunas.
“They are very rare, and so we don’t really have any plans at this point in time to try and find a way to save them,” Agriculture Minister Pauline Hanson said.