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17 marine tourism operators funded to monitor health of Great Barrier Reef

17 marine tourism operators funded to monitor health of Great Barrier Reef
February 22, 2021

A $3.2 million Federal Government initiative will see 17 marine tourism operators along the Great Barrier Reef commence reef site monitoring and maintenance this week.

The initiative engages the Reef tourism industry to undertake in-water conservation and monitoring activities including reef health and impact surveys, coral gardening or protecting coral cover by culling coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish.

Tourism Operators will collect important data from in-water surveys through the Authority’s Eye on the Reef system, improving knowledge of reef impacts and recovery.

They will also capture videos and photos to document their activities and enable the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority to share their images with the world, highlighting the beauty of the Reef and efforts to protect it.  

As part of the Federal Government’s $1 billon COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, which supports regions, communities and industry sectors severely affected by the Coronavirus crisis, the initiative will support up to 300 existing frontline jobs in the Reef’s tourism industry.

Federal Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley said the initiative helped ensure business continuity for the tourism industry as well as helping conserve and protect high-value reef tourism sites.

“We’re delighted to support our passionate tourism operators to monitor reef health, control native pest outbreaks, and conduct restoration activities at local reef sites,” Minister Ley said.

“We’re aiming to encourage people to come and see the Reef when it is safe to do so, fall in love with it and do their bit to protect the Reef for future generations to enjoy.

Minister Ley highlights “This important work will help ensure key tourism sites are properly maintained and ready to welcome guests as COVID-19 travel restrictions are eased.”

Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef and Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch added “Imagery captured of the Reef during these activities will also be used to help keep the Reef top of mind for people nationally and internationally and support tourism recovery campaigns both domestically and overseas.”

Participating tourism operators were selected through an open tender process run by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The activities will occur at 234 reefs until 30th June 2021.

In-water activities under this initiative directly support the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Reef Blueprint, which outlines what actions can support reef resilience.

More information on the $1 billon COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund can be found here 

Related Articles

17th February 2021 - Taronga Zoo scientists playing key role in protecting Great Barrier Reef

17th February 2021 - Great Barrier Reef’s D Grade highlights urgent action is required

11th January 2021 - Tablelands Regional Council signs up as reef guardian

4th December 2020 - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority elects Jeff Baines as inaugural Chair of Reef Guardian Council

27th November 2020 - New management arrangements proposed for Townsville’s John Brewer Reef

30th October 2020 - Cairns Regional Council endorses plan for Reef management

15th October 2020 - Cairns Regional Council recommends improvements to Great Barrier Reef plan

9th October 2020 - Australian Marine Conservation Society claims Reef Inquiry confirms what was already known

8th October 2020 - Census launched to help inform Great Barrier Reef key management decisions

30th September 2020 - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority responds to illegal fishing on the Reef

14th September 2020 - Gladstone Regional Council renews its commitment to guarding the Great Barrier Reef

8th September 2020 - Australian Marine Conservation Society welcomes Federal Government intervention into protecting Great Barrier Reef wildlife

21st August 2020 - Whitsunday Council recommits to Reef Guardian Council program

16th June 2020 - Great Barrier Reef campaigners deliver message of Reef-safe recovery

5th June 2020 - Great Barrier Reef Foundation announces Australia’s first integrated Reef Restoration Hub

25th May 2020 - Australian Marine Conservation Society would welcome additional support for reef tourism sector

13th May 2020 - Great Barrier Reef tourism operators to receive additional financial assistance

7th April 2020 - Reef tourism industry and conservationists demand climate action following release of new bleaching survey

5th March 2020 - Great Barrier Reef tourism operators highlight the distressing impacts of coral bleaching 

28th February 2020 - Australian Marine Conservation Society calls for a Reef-safe climate policy


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