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The Great Barrier Reef has been pronounced deceased by environmentalist Rowan Jacobson in a posthumous tribute.

“The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness" said Jacobson in the 'obituary', published in Outside Magazine. "It was 25 million years old."

The reef, which is the biggest in the world, stretching for over 1,400 miles of Queensland’s north-west coast and containing 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 molluscs and 30 different types of whale and dolphin, has been under threat from coral bleaching for  the last few decades, with environmental groups battling to save the natural wonder.

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A visit to the reef by professionals in September found that 60 per cent of the whole reef was bleached, with another 19-20 per cent covered in sludgy brown algae

 "If it [the reef] was a person, it would be on life support" Professor Tim Flannery, who was present at the visit to the reef last month, told ABC News.

 "We wanted to see how much repair there'd been, but the coral we saw bleached and in danger a few months back has now mostly died."

"A whole lot of white coral out there that's been killed by Crown of Thorns starfish because it was too weak to defend itself."

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In order to try and save the planet’s great marine wildernesses from dying, a coral reef summit has been organised, with experts from developing countries gathering in a global effort to save as much of the reef as possible as well as protecting and planning a strategy for the wildlife that call it home.

This awful news, announced in dramatic style by Jacobson's article, comes hot on the heels of a warning from Charlie Veron, longtime chief scientist for the Australian Institute of Marine Science, only seven years ago in London, in which he predicted this outcome.

Photo: iStock.

Great Barrier Reef

“The whole northern section is trashed. It looks like a war zone. It’s heartbreaking" said Vernon in 2009.

"I used to have the best job in the world. Now it’s turned sour... I’m 71 years old now, and I think I may outlive the reef."

Photo: iStock.

Great Barrier Reef Australia

Photo: iStock.

Great Barrier Reef

Photo: iStock.

Great Barrier Reef

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