Australia: Marine life benefits from organic farming

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

From benthic invertebrates to fish, crustaceans and other organisms, the underworld inhabitants of Australia’s marine system will fare better under a future that considers more widespread uptake of organic farming, says Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA). (picture: Great Barrier Reef)

According to the  ‘2007 Water Quality Report for the Great Barrier Reef’ released last week most of the nutrient loads which damage underwater eco-systems come from agricultural land use that increases fertiliser and pesticide run-off into marine systems. Organic farms have no hand in synthetic farm chemicals that make their way to Australia’s coast, and are actively addressing Australia’s water quality and estuary issues, says BFA Director, Dr. Andrew Monk. “Organic farms prohibit the use of synthetic farm chemicals which are ending up in our waterways. And organic land is less likely to suffer from erosion because organic systems are serious about better perennial ground-cover.”

The Water Quality Report found agricultural chemicals were most likely to enter Australian waterways through soil that was swept away or eroded; or through run-off in high rainfall areas. “For this reason, organisms and habitats which suffer most from agriculture can only benefit from a decrease in farm chemical use and an increase in organic systems - where stringent standards exist to regulate production in an environmental context,” says Dr. Monk.

Recent reports on the health of the Great Barrier Reef found 16,600 tonnes of nitrogen and 4,180 tonnes of phosphorous were making their way to the protected area each year.

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