Crabs Probably are Saving Great Barrier Reef from Coral Disease

Crabs Probably are Saving Great Barrier Reef from Coral Disease

A group of scientists at the James Cook University has claimed that a species of crab probably has the potential to impede the growth of a coral disease.

Environment Minister Tony Burke had vowed that the Great Barrier Reef would be saved sooner. UNESCO had issued suggestions, eight in number, in June that the reef should be kept on the World Heritage list. But, the assurances by him have been refused by Green groups.

The disease largely affects the Great Barrier Reef and is therefore being focused at by the researchers since long. The disease is named as white syndrome, which is being examined for its association with the funny coral crab.

While it was their belief that the reefs nearby Cairns, Cooktown, Rockhampton and Townsville are being damaged by the crabs, researcher Joseph Pollock says that these are probably defeating the illness.

Likely, he adds, the crabs move from the close by coral colonies and enter diseased colonies, thereby slowing down the disease's development by almost three folds.

"They may be helping the coral by eating any sort of tissue as it falls off the coral, potentially any microscopic critters that are right at the disease lesion front", affirmed Pollock.