Great Barrier Reef – What WWF is doing

The Great Barrier Reef stretches 2,300 kilometres along the Queensland coast and includes over 2,900 reefs and, around 940 islands and cays. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is 345,000 km² in size – larger than the entire area of the UK and Ireland combined or five times larger than Tasmania!

Improving water quality

Effective action must be taken now to reduce land-based sources of sediment, fertiliser and pesticide pollution.

Find out more about how WWF is working with farmers to reduce pollution.

Global warming

The future impacts of global warming must be included in government plans regarding the reef. It is imperative that action be taken at a national level to reduce CO² emissions.

Ending Poor Fishing Practices

Sustainable levels of fishing in the marine park are needed to minimise the impacts on the reef’'s biodiversity.

Read more about WWF’s work with commercial fisheries to end poor fishing practices.

Marine sanctuaries

Building and maintaining a network of well- funded, enforced and monitored marine sanctuaries throughout the reef is essential to protecting representative areas. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are also important for those regions of special or unique biological value.

Click here for information about Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Protection from coastal industrialization


Fight for the Reef is a campaign working with the Australian community to protect the Reef and the $6 billion tourism industry and 60,000 jobs it supports from rapid and unsustainable industrialization of the Reef’s coast. Our Fight for the Reef campaign is run in partnership with the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

Join the Fight for the Reef campaign and learn how you can help the Reef here.
Lizard Island, aerial view. Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, Australia. / ©: Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon
Lizard Island, aerial view. Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, Australia.
© Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon

Why we should save the Great Barrier Reef?

The reef is a global treasure because it is home to more than:
  • 1,500 species of fish;
  • 411 types of hard coral;
  • one-third of the world’s soft corals;
  • 134 species of sharks and rays;
  • six of the world’'s seven species of threatened marine turtles; and
  • more than 30 species of marine mammals, including the vulnerable dugong.