Perhaps the one thing that’s synonymous with far North Queensland in the minds of most people is the Great Barrier Reef.
It is globally accepted to be one of the great natural wonders of the world and the statistics are just mind boggling. For example, 10% of the entire world’s fish species are based in and around it.
Even in more sordid terms, it’s exceptionally important to the Australian economy with it contributing about $6billion a year to our economy and creating around 60,000 jobs.
So, why has it received so much worried press coverage over the last several decades?
Well, the environment of the reef has been under pressure for a long time now. This has been controversial in terms of attribution of causes (i.e. not all scientists agree on the specifics) but they’re broadly considered to be:
- historic bad commercial fishing practices (plus some remaining poaching today);
- modern farming practice runs-off from the land changing the equilibrium of parts of the reef;
- climate change leading to more hostile weather for the reef including bleaching.
However, almost all environmental scientists agree that controlled human tourism around the reef on say snorkelling visits is harmless, providing it’s conducted in an environmentally-aware fashion.
There is also some other good news too. There is now a governing marine park regulatory authority to care for this great natural wonder and for some time now strong laws have been in place to prohibit some of the bad old practices of the past.
The coral is also very resilient and given half a chance the reef will self-heal. In fact, over very recent years, there is evidence in some areas that the natural recovery of previously damaged parts of the reef is underway.
Up here we’re hugely proud of the reef and everyone’s committed to doing whatever we can to preserve it and help visitors to experience this wonderland.
All our Cairns, Port Douglas, Palm Cove and Trinity Beach accommodation sites are well placed for trips to the reef.
Come up and see it and we guarantee, you’ll understand why we’re all so keen to defend it!
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