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AUSTRALIA-REEF/WIDERIMAGE
RTX1I8GS
29 Jun. 2015
Peter Gash (L), owner and manager of the Lady Elliot... more
AUSTRALIA-REEF/WIDERIMAGE
RTX1I8GS
29 Jun. 2015
LADY ELLIOT ISLAND, Australia
Peter Gash (L), owner and manager of the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, snorkels with Oliver Lanyon and Lewis Marshall, senior rangers in the Great Barrier Reef region for the Queenlsand Parks and Wildlife Service, at Lady Elliot Island, north-east of the town of Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia, June 11, 2015. They are carrying out an inspection of the reef's condition in an area called the 'Coral Gardens'. Gash snorkels every morning before he attends to managing duties on the island, and was showing the Great Barrier Reef rangers the current condition of the reef. UNESCO World Heritage delegates recently snorkelled on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, thousands of coral reefs, which stretch over 2,000 km off the northeast coast. Surrounded by manta rays, dolphins and reef sharks, their mission was to check the health of the world's largest living ecosystem, which brings in billions of dollars a year in tourism. Some coral has been badly damaged and animal species, including dugong and large green turtles, are threatened. UNESCO will say on Wednesday whether it will place the reef on a list of endangered World Heritage sites, a move the Australian government wants to avoid at all costs, having lobbied hard overseas. Earlier this year, UNESCO said the reef's outlook was "poor". REUTERS/David Gray TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

PICTURE 10 OF 23 FOR WIDER IMAGE STORY "GREAT BARRIER REEF AT RISK"
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