Quicksilver Group Reef Stewardship - Tourism Industry Activation & Reef Protection Initiative
Complementing the Quicksilver Group's environmental stewardship activities, the company has embarked on an extensive Reef health assessment and intervention program as part of the Australian Government’s $3.2million Tourism Industry Activation and Reef Protection Initiative administered by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
The company is one of 17 tourism operators along the entire Great Barrier Reef contracted to undertake reef site monitoring and maintenance at up to 234 reef sites through until June 2021.
Tony Baker Quicksilver Group Managing Director said, “This is an exciting and very significant initiative that directly enhances our long term reef stewardship and commitment to conservation of this remarkable World Heritage natural environment.”
“From our operations in Port Douglas and Cairns and out to Green Island, a dedicated team of marine biologists and trained dive staff have commenced reef health assessments and conservation activities. As a result of the impact of COVID on the tourism industry and subsequent reduction in operations, the support of this Australian Government initiative means we can continue important conservation activities at our major tourism and remote reef sites.”
With extensive permits within the marine park, up to 78 of the company’s reef sites will be surveyed, spanning a distance of over 100km from the Agincourt ribbon reefs through to southern sites as far as Flynn and Milln Reef.
Leading the program, Doug Baird Quicksilver Group Environment and Compliance Manager said, “Through this very intensive program, this important work will support and help improve reef resilience. The environmental information collected will in turn help the Reef Authority make important management decisions within the marine park.
“In addition to Reef Health Impact and Eye on the Reef monitoring surveys, we’re also ‘hunting’ for any coral predators such as the Crown of Thorns Starfish and Drupella snails, and removing them from the reef where we find any.”
The Quicksilver Group is also currently undertaking three separate collaborative scientific coral research and nurturing programs, each using different techniques, at three key reef sites – Quicksilver Cruises Agincourt Reef 3, Great Adventures Moore Reef and Great Adventures Green Island.
About the GBRMPA Tourism Industry Activation and Reef Protection Initiative.
17 tourism operators along the entire Great Barrier Reef are undertaking reef site monitoring and maintenance at up to 234 reef site until June 2021.
These operators were selected through a competitive market approach which was open to all operators with permits in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This $3.2 million initiative is part of the Australian Government’s $1 billon COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund.
The initiative is will help support the tourism industry while helping conserve and protect high-value reef tourism sites with activities aimed at directly supporting reef resilience
Activities being undertaken include:
- Completing in-water Reef Health and Impact Surveys (RHIS) and Eye on the Reef Surveys with data uploaded to the reef Authority’s Eye on the Reef system.
- Reef intervention and conservation activities under existing Marine Park permits. This includes coral gardening, macro-algae removal and crown-of-thorns starfish control
- Capturing real-time imagery of the Reef and operational activities for developing education and communication materials.