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Seaweek 2010: Oceans of Life - ours to explore; ours to restore


• Tourists to the reef can have negative effects as well as positive effects on coral reefs. Positive effects include: job generation; provision of revenues for management to protect the reef; engendering appreciation and support for coral reefs amongst the public; and increasing awareness about the threats to coral reefs. Negative impacts include pollution of the environment; causing damage to the coral and marine animals; and depletion of marine stocks by fishing (including illegal fishing). The Great Barrier Reef is protected by a zoning plan that limits fishing and tourism to certain areas ensuring the entire range of animals and plants are protected.

• Tourism and recreation are important ways for people to experience and learn about the wonders of coral reefs e.g. the Great Barrier Reef, and help conserve these important areas. • Approximately 1.9 million tourists and 4.9 million recreational visitors visit the Great Barrier Reef each year, contributing more than $5 billion to the Australian economy each year. An estimated 200,000 visitors a year visit Ningaloo reef in Western Australia.

• Permits are issued to tourism operators, which help to control the number of operators and provide rules and regulations that allow them to undertake their operations in an ecologically sustainable manner.

• Many local people use the reef and islands for recreation purposes; this includes activities such as boating, fishing, snorkeling and diving, photography and camping. (Please see the Fishing Fact Sheet for more information on recreational fishing).

Further links:

• The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Tourism and Recreation):

• CRC Reef (Fact sheet on tourism):

• Eco-Tourism Australia (Home and GBRMPA partnership):

• The Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (Home):

• The Constitution Centre of Western Australia – July – Ningaloo Reef:

• Ningaloo Reef – Information on tourism and the North West Cape Reg:




High speed catamaran, "Yellow Sub" and "Reef Diver" passenger barge
from GBRMPA Image Collection

tourists sitting in glass-bottom boat,
viewing corals around Low Isles
from GBRMPA Image Collection

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