Did you ever get to dive at Great Barrier Reef? If not it just might be to late now as Australia is banning all diving at the reef. We ask: is this fair?
This was of cause an April fools joke – Great Barrier Reef are (to the best of our knowledge) not closing. However, a lot of protection of the reef is going on. Luckily the Australian government is taking the protection of the worlds larges coral system serious.
Today the Australia Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, has signed a declaration closing the Great Barrier Reef for all diving activities until 2030. While this comes as a chock for many divers from around the world, for the local divers around Great Barrier Reef knew this was coming. The damages done to the reef are to extreme and the protective initiatives done to date haven’t been enough.
These measures are done so the reef can get time to regain its natural ecosystem. And so the reef life will have time to recover from all the divers’ chasing and touching them all these years. While this is of cause unfortunate for divers and fans of Australia that has still not had the change to dive here, we believe that this is the only possible solution.
Greg Hunt MP, Australian Minister for the Environment
With immediate effect this declaration will shut down all water sport activity in the 344,400 square kilometer area and especially in the beginning a large amount of police patrolling will take place for enforce the closure. While many divers are now asking why this is coming so sudden and hoping for one last chance to dive Great Barrier Reef, the head of the Department of the Environment says that this closure needed to be done quickly to avoid a mass panic diving with too many diver rushing in for causing even more damage.
Great Barrier Reef contains:
- 411 types of hard coral
- 1,500 species of fish
- one-third of the world’s soft corals
- 134 different species of sharks and rays
- 6 of the world’s 7 species of threatened marine turtles
The environment comes first
Great Barrier Reef is known to diver around the world as one of the best – if not the best – dive site with its huge coral area of more than 410 hard corals, fish life with more than 1500 species and a natural life not seen often. However, because of the scuba divers damaging effect on the marine life, the WWF has worked hard for a total protection of the reef for years – work that now seems to have been successful.
Learn more about diving in Australia here
What do you think about the closure of Great Barrier Reef? Good for the local environment or too extreme?