Abstract Investigated in this report are some of the different ways tourism is causing damage to one of our most prestige's natural wonders, The Great Barrier Reef. The information included in the Report was gathered from well-known organizations such as the Great Barrier Reef Marin Park Authority, who also commissioned the report. The report deals with the more noticeable causes of damage that tourism causes, such as the pollution generated by the numbers of people on the Reef and surrounding areas, and other damages. The report recommends that the amount of tourists that have access to the Reef at one particular time be restricted, and the distance that ships must be away from the Reef be assessed and enforced. (115 Words) -1- 1.
0 Introduction 1. 1 Issue This report discusses issues involved in the affects Tourism has on the Great Barrier Reef. 1. 2 Purpose The purpose of this research is to determine the extent of short and long-term effects that Tourism is having on the Great Barrier Reef and its surrounding areas. 1. 3 Sources All of the information gathered in the report comes from trusted sources such books written or commissioned by experts, websites, online databases, and newspaper articles.
The information extracted from these items was relevant and its authenticity was thoroughly checked. 1. 4 Background The Great Barrier Reef is the world's biggest natural wonder, and approximately 1. 6 million tourists visit the Reef each year. Tourism around the Reef generates approximately $1 billion each year, and is a major contributor to the Australian economy (Harriet, 2002). Tourism numbers on the Great Barrier Reef have stabilized, following a rapid growth through the 1970's and 1980's.
2. 0 Investigation 2. 1 Water Quality Water Quality around the Great Barrier Reef is one of the areas of most concern in the fight to save our Reef. Declining water quality in inshore areas, is taking its toll on the surrounding flora and fauna. This decrease is mainly due to elevated levels of sediments and nutrients in the area; fishing, particularly trawling of the seafloor, and pollution from Tourists Resorts, which is dealt with in the next section.
(Reuters, 2002, p 3) -2- 2. 2 Pollution from Tourist Resorts Tourist Resorts no only lower the water quality of the waters surrounding them, sewerage and garbage ends up in the Reefs waters, and kills many different animals. For instance, fish die because their water is clouded with pollution, other animals may die because they swallow pieces of rubbish thinking it is food. Tourist resorts are contributing to water / air pollution before they are even completed, and still in the construction phase. ('Great Barrier Reef', p 14) Large amounts of sediments from the work-site can be washed into waters, leaving them clouded for days. 2.
3 Coral Damage As damage to the coral on the Reef is the main point of concern, this section will be further divided into smaller more precise portions. 2. 3 a Coral Bleaching Bleaching occurs when the coral undergoes a great deal of stress, caused from events such as rising water temperature, which results in the algae that provides the coral with its amazing colours being expelled, and the coral starves to death. The number one cause of Coral Bleaching is global warming.
In 2002 the GBR underwent the biggest coral-bleaching event, and kilometers of Reef was damaged ('Coral Bleaching' 2003, p 2). Bleaching never actually heals, but can be replaced with new coral over time, although this can take months or even years. Even though the main cause of the Bleaching is global warming, there are other ways the reef can be stressed, for instance, the presence of a large number of people, which it would be unaccustomed to. 2. 3 b Less Extensive Damage Perhaps not as damaging as Coral Bleaching, but certainly an area of concern, is the amount of destruction caused by boat anchors and to a lesser extent, diving and reef walking. In heavily traveled waters around the Great Barrier Reef, large sections of the Coral can be damaged due to boat anchors being dropped directly on it, or being dragged across it.
(Dinesen, Oliver, 2002 p 6) Reef walking and diving are nowhere near as destructive as say Coral Bleaching, but certain more sensitive areas of the reef can become damaged, especially by the less experienced 'tourist divers'. -3- 3. 0 Conclusion In conclusion, it is obvious to see that even though only a few effects and causes are mentioned, tourism has a fairly severe impact on the Reef, and surrounding areas. It is clear to see that certain restrictions need to be placed in regards with amount of tourists, time, or areas tourists / ships may enter. 4. 0 Recommendations It is recommended by this report that: A) The current amount of tourism flowing through the GBR each year is reviewed, B) Restrictions placed on the following: i) The amount of Tourists allowed each year.
ii) The time of year at which tourists are allowed iii) The activities taking place on or near the Reef Lawrence, D. 2002, Great Barrier Reef: Finding the right Balance, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne Bennet, I. 1988, The Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Lansdowne Press, Sydney. CRC Reef Research Center Ltd 2002, 'Marine tourism in the great barrier reef' [online] Available: web [02 April 2003]. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 'Tourism Impacts' [online] Available: web > [05 June 2003].