SPREAD THE WORD OUR REEF IS ALIVE
Chairman responds to RIP reports
THE Great Barrier Reef is very much alive and thriving in the Whitsundays.
This is the message from tourism operators, the Whitsundays regional tourism organisation and even the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority following negative media reports over the weekend.
On Monday GBRMPA chairman Russell Reichelt issued a statement saying reports to the contrary were “irresponsible and untrue”.
He admitted being “deeply concerned” about the impacts of the mass coral bleaching event affecting coral reefs throughout the world, including the Great Barrier Reef.
“(But) headlines that disempower people will not help us protect the reef’s long-term future, which continues to be my sole mission and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s single, steadfast focus,” he said.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner agreed the “greatly exaggerated and inaccurate” article by Outside Magazine had spread misinformation globally about the health and future of the Great Barrier Reef and he was quick to paint an accurate picture of the scene below the water in the Whitsundays.
“During the recent global coral bleaching event earlier this year, the majority of the corals in the Whitsundays remained unaffected, with only minor bleaching recorded in the region,” he said. “TW acknowledges there is continual hard work ahead for the long-term recovery and protection of the GBR (but) the Whitsundays’ tourism industry is proactively working with GBRMPA and the Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association (WCBIA) to protect (it) by monitoring tourism impacts and implementing best practice procedures.
“Working together to ensure resilience and the long-term protection of the Great Barrier Reef is a shared goal, and a more effective message of hope for the future of this living natural wonder.”
Headlines that disempower people will not help us protect the reef’s long-term future. — Russell Reichelt GBRMPA
ALIVE AND BEAUTIFUL: A diver pictured on a Whitsunday reef.