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Front row seat to the Great Barrier Reef

Front row seat to the Great Barrier Reef

Tourism Tropical North Queensland has launched a map showing underwater vision shot daily by tour vessels in the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region.

Front row seat to the Great Barrier Reef

The map, called Great Barrier Reef Today, uses information gathered by the tour operators who regularly document what they see on the reef as part of the innovative Eye on the Reef program through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

TTNQ Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said that TTNQ is sharing this information on a map to make it easier for people to see what the reef looks like before they visit.

“The Great Barrier Reef Today map currently shows the main reefs off Cairns and Port Douglas where tour operators visit and will gradually expand to shows reefs to our north and south.

“The first daily natural history records of the Great Barrier Reef were gathered by tourism operator Reef Biosearch in 1986 and these were the catalyst for GBRMPA’s Eye on the Reef program”, continue Mr Olsen.

“The partnership between tourism and science has continued to grow and last year included a world first IVF program during the annual coral spawn. Operators assisted researchers from Southern Cross University and James Cook University to collect coral eggs and sperm so the coral larvae could be fed and released on the Great Barrier Reef to grow new corals.

“Numerous other projects involving the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef tourism industry include coral nurseries, coral resettling and using electricity to stimulate coral growth.”

Visitors are also encourage to participate in the program by uploading images they have taken on the reef to the Eye on the Reef app, and to use the hashtag GreatBarrierReefToday when posting to their social media.

“Great Barrier Reef Today is another example of operators in the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region working with the science community by compiling data to give GBRMPA a clear picture of the reef’s health,” Mr Olsen concluded.

To see the map – click HERE.

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