Tourist impact on coral

Michael S. Roy Michael.S.Roy at
Thu Sep 25 06:34:32 EDT 1997

While visiting the Great Barrier Reef at Cairns recently as a tourist, I
went on a diving trip organised by a local company. Although the diving was
as fantastic as expected (my first time to this reef) I was appalled by the
general level of conservation awareness that this particular tour company
provided its customers. It appears common practice for companies to offer
non divers the opportunity to learn how to dive at the reef. I personally
witnessed groups of beginners falling all over corals through lack of
bouyancy control, breaking and damaging corals as they went.

Our tour guide never once told people to stay away or not to touch the
corals, or not to take home souvenirs (although I never witnessed anybody
doing this).

My question is whether anybody knows the impact tourism has on the Great
Barrier Reef and what is the general policy for conservation of the Reef.
Is it targeted disturbance to small areas or is it small and widespread
disturbance over large areas. Is there any regulation out there at all?

The Government has recently introduced a $2 tax for all tourists which our
tour operator was quite angry at. Where does this money go?



Michael.S.Roy at

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