Another major threat to the Great Barrier Reef is Tourism

Another major threat to the Great Barrier Reef is Tourism. Two million visitors visit the coral reef each year. This is great for the economy; however, it can have detrimental impacts on the reef. Impacts of tourism can include pollution and loss of marine resources due to the destruction of coral reefs. Tourists also break the fragile corals by touching and contaminating the water with sweat and suntan lotions. To add to that, the vessels that carry the tourists drop boat anchors that can break or dislodge vast areas to the Great Barrier Reef and drop fuel or other types of pollution which can kill marine organisms living in the reef. Indirect actions that cause harm to the Great Barrier Reef through tourism is the construction and development of infrastructure used to accommodate tourist causes land degradation and increase sedimentation. The damage doesn’t end with the construction of tourist infrastructure. Some tourist resorts empty their sewage and other wastes directly into water surrounding coral reefs. Marine animals are also disturbed by increased number of boats, and by people approaching too closely. Due to the negative impacts of tourism, the government stepped in to help, by implementing the Long-term sustainability plain. This plain ensures that certain areas of the reef are protected and looked after. Another measure is the preparation of the frequent environment impact state which act as a means of monitoring and ensuring that pollutions levels within the reef do not reach levels that may harm the coral and organisms that live within the reef. On the other hand, tourist organisations such as the Tourism Tropical North Queensland have created campaigns to potential tourists which can generate revenue, and in return, result in improved environmental planning and promote public reef ecosystems. Plus, tourist organisations educate staff about the value of environmental management, nature interpretation, and introduce a visitor’s information programme including environmental information. During the last decades, tourism in the Great Barrier Reef was almost non-existent in 1950, but today, it is the principal industry in the Great Barrier Reef. Measures implemented by the government and tourist organisations helped reduce detrimental effects in the Great Barrier Reef and raise awareness about the Great Barrier reef to encourage others to donate funds to local organisations protecting and restoring the Great Barrier Reef.

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