The tourism operators on the Great Barrier Reef must be delighted at the discovery of massive colonies of pristine coral.
The surprise finding uncovers colonies of coral in a lagoon system located nearly 100 kilometres off the coast of the mainland of the Whitsundays. The news is equally exciting to the tourists and marine life experts.
The discovery took place on Saturday, September 22, when Johnny Gaskell, the ‘Living Reef’ marine biologist of the Daydream Island, went to explore a ‘deep blue circle’ in the Reef showed on Google maps. To his surprise, that blue circle turned out to be huge colonies of Birdsnest and Staghorn corals!
Mr Gaskell, along with two fellow divers Richard Poustie and Joe Egan, found that coral nest spreading across nearly 150-meter area and at 20-meter deep into the lagoon. The best part is that corals will help with the re-colonisation of other coral areas in the Reef.
Mr Gaskell described it as a good sign for the Reef’s ecology. He hoped that these healthy corals would be critical to the ongoing recovery of the Reef and its ecology.
Tash Wheeler, the Sales and Marketing Manager of Tourism Whitsundays, sounded very excited at the news of the discovery. She invited the tourists to visit the place to contribute to the Reef’s ongoing resilience. The Reef’s ticket price includes an Environmental Management Charge (EMC), which goes to its sustaining expenses.
Visitors can enjoy the Reef’s beauty from on and under the water and from above. The region’s tourism industry is committed to providing every tourist the best, premium experiences.