Safeguarding Australia's Great Barrier Reef takes a cultural shift

phys.org | 4/18/2019 | Staff
Kezzerxx (Posted by) Level 3
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It is sometimes the relatively simple ideas that work best. A novel low-cost device, that can rapidly secure coral fragments to the reef, has been so successful at helping propagate coral on high value sections of Australia's Great Barrier Reef that the Australian and Queensland Governments have committed more funding to take the project further.

For Associate Professor Suggett, who leads the Future Reefs research program within the UTS Climate Change Cluster (C3), colleague Dr. Emma Camp and key partner Wavelength Reef Cruises it's an exciting and highly anticipated moment. Tour operator Wavelength Reef Cruises led the development of the device over an intense 12 month period in 2018 during the first phase of their project. The team will now be joined by collaborators from JCU TropWater, Reef Ecologic and several other reef tour operators for phase two aimed at proving the concept via scalability across more GBR sites.

Team - Step - Development - Device - Abundance

The team believes this next step represents more than the development of a low-tech device that can rapidly boost coral abundance. Fundamentally, the success of the project, and the protection of the reef demonstrates a "cultural shift" in the way "science is working with stakeholders—notably local businesses and traditional owners".

"Although as much as 90% of the 'reef value' comes from tourism less than five percent of the reef sites are used for tourism.

Percentage - Way - Tourist - Operators - Future

"It's important to protect this small percentage, and one way of doing that is to help tourist operators secure the future of their sites by giving them tools for reef custodianship so that they can build capacity," Suggett says.

Wavelength Reef Cruises operator Mr John Edmondson says that the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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