Fighting to save our delicate reef
I WAS fortunate enough to attend the Reef Summit in Townsville at the end of May, which was wall-to-wall with reef experts.
We all know the importance of the reef to our tourism industry.
In Australia, tourism is worth about $50b a year and the Great Barrier Reef is one of the main reasons visitors travel long haul.
We know there is a job to be done in protecting it, for our industry now and also Celsius hotter.
Each time there is an adverse weather event, coral reefs die, but the rate of decline during the most recent weather events has been much faster than previously.
The priority list of action points coming out of the summit were as follows:
An all-out attack on Crown of Thorns, which destroy coral reefs
Report cards that are relevant and have current data (not 18 months old)
Look after bright spots (healthy reefs) to foster growth and provide nurseries
A team ready to quickly approve Special Management Areas (SMAs) or permits when cyclones or major weather events