Tropical Barred Leatherjacket (photo Don Love)
Letter in the Bairnsdale Advertiser 19/2
Thanks for your news item about the discovery of the tropical species of the barred leatherjacket near Cape Conran. This is another example of species moving into our waters as they warm – a direct result of global warming where our lakes and ocean are warming far more rapidly than the land.
To the leatherjacket (above) can be added a number of new, and as yet unidentified, jellyfish in the lakes and possibly the Black Marlin in our nearby oceans. Initially this may be perceived as a boost to our tourist industry but this would be a big mistake.
The immediate threats of global warming are many. They include those to our health from heatwaves and mosquito born viruses, increasing numbers of Algal blooms that challenge the tourist industry and the threat to life and property of bushfires, storms and floods all of which are increasing in number and intensity as a result of global warming.
Longer term threats (which science now tells us will last thousands of years unless drastic action is taken across the globe now) will see the lakes eventually disappear and coastal towns like Lakes Entrance progressively being flooded till they go under permanently. This will occur on a timescale of 300 years and possibly as quickly as 100 years. It is time for our representatives at all levels of government to acknowledge the science and start working seriously for all Gippslanders and Australians on the solutions.