Step back in time, and see the Great Barrier Reef’s story through the eyes of people working out on the reef.
Since the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was created 40 years ago, Australian attitudes toward the Reef and the sea have evolved significantly.
Gone are the days when we viewed nature simply as a free souvenir shop. We now know that while it is abundant, it is also vulnerable.
Long ago we placed bans on oil and gas drilling. More recently, we have protected some areas of the Reef from fishing, and ultimately we’ve been rewarded with rebounding fish populations and millions of tourists each year.
Today, the wonder of the Reef is among the biggest tourist attractions in the world. But, a warning bell has been rung. News has spread that the Reef is in decline, and the eyes of the world are now on us, waiting to see if we will make the right choices to save it.
Fortunately, the sea around us is resilient. Corals can recover, and the Reef is supported by the Coral Sea, which is one of the last places on Earth where big fish still thrive and where sister reefs still flourish.
Local economies have been boosted by the rewards marine protection delivers. Coastal communities, tour operators and fishers, now want to see a new chapter in history of marine protection: a Coral Sea Marine Park, which when combined with the Great Barrier Reef would form the biggest marine protected area on Earth, ensuring that this marvellous resource remains for years to come.