Great Barrier Reef conservation continues to make positive steps forward

Great Barrier Reef conservation continues to make positive steps forward

Conservation projects are becoming more visible to the public as tourism operators showcase the importance of caring for the worlds largest and most diverse reef.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO,  Mark Olsen, said the region’s marine tourism industry had been a key partner in the protection and management of the Great Barrier Reef for decades.

“The Tropical North Queensland reef fleet invests in the future of the World Heritage area by undertaking research and providing the infrastructure to assist scientists to access the reef helping to make the Great Barrier reef the best managed reef on earth and the gold standard for global reef management,” he said.

“Travellers are increasingly wanting to understand what is being done to help the Great Barrier Reef as ecosystems around the world face the challenges of climate change.

Many operators in north Queensland have been working towards being more sustainable for years, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, for example, was the first tourism operator in the world to achieve EarthCheck Master Certification and is one of less than 10 EarthCheck Masters on the planet.

Skyrail Forest Cableway. (Supplied)

“New tours are helping visitors to understand the innovative and dedicated actions of the tourism industry on the Great Barrier Reef with opportunities to assist with collecting data, remove the coral-eating Drupella snail and caring for injured turtles among the available activities,” Olsen said.

“Data collection is critical in determining if the reef environment is changing and our tourism operators have been the eyes and ears that monitor the reef for more than three decades alerting scientists to any threats it may face and undertaking stewardship activities such as reef restoration and removal of predators when necessary.

“Quicksilver’s Reef Biosearch is the largest employer of marine biologists outside government agencies and their 30-year logbook database on the Great Barrier Reef was the precursor to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Eye on the Reef program.

“Importantly, tourism operators showcase the World Heritage area to the public and educate visitors that everyone can play in helping to conserve the Great Barrier Reef and other environments they care about.”

 

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