Thursday, September 14, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

New Initiative For Reef Health Research

Local tour operators are once again doing their bit for the reef thanks to the newest iteration of the Tourism Reef Protection Initiative (TRPI) which is here and ready to deliver concise, balanced, and relevant information on the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Tourism Reef Protection Initiative (TRPI) is a program for tourism operators to commit to and deliver reef protection and conservation services, within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

There are 26 tourism operators involved in this Initiative and Cruise Whitsundays is one of them.

General Manager Adam Hosie said he and his team are extremely proud to be involved in such a worthwhile initiative.

“With over 2,900 individual reefs making up the Great Barrier Reef, the involvement of tourism operators in supporting the Reef Authority’s monumental efforts to preserve and protect one of the planet’s most significant natural wonders is vital to success,” he said.

Cruise Whitsunday’s Marine Biologist Jemma Simpson said the increase in resourcing for our in-water survey team will make a huge difference to the resilience of the sites at Hardy Reef.

“Reef surveys and data collection have always been a key priority for Cruise Whitsundays. Happily, now through the additional funding thanks to the Tourism Reef Protection Initiative, we have been able to increase resources,” she explained.

“This project has allowed us to allocate more dedicated research days and expand the areas we monitor.”

By June this year, the Cruise Whitsundays team had conducted over 40 in-water survey days, with 188 RHIS (Reef Health Impact Surveys) completed.

“Our team has successfully removed three Crown of Thorns starfish and over 1,100 Drupella from our site,” said Jemma.

“Contributing to this initiative means that we are able to help protect our area of reef for the future.”

The project is funded by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, as part of the Australia Government’s Reef Protection Package, a $1.2 billion commitment.

$16.6 million has been allocated towards contracting marine tourism operators across the entire Great Barrier Reef network.

The Tourism Reef Protection Initiative team conducting Reef Health Surveys on Hardy Reef. Photo supplied

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