Ocean Free & Ocean Freedom is once again very excited to be working with the Great Barrier Reef Park Authority (GBRMPA) on their second “Tourism Reef Protection Initiative” (TRPI). We are very grateful to have been successful in the tender process and receive funding from the Australian Government in order to enable us to continue a high level of stewardship on our longstanding reef sites, and also on, more recently acquired reef sites. Our stewardship activities include the Eye on the Reef Tourism Weekly and Reef Health and Impact(RHIS) surveys.
The Tourism Weekly survey follows a typical “tourism snorkel trail” offering a weekly snapshot of our reef site. This alerts us to any changes, outbreaks of COT’s or Drupellae, presence of any disease and more to enable early action and management.
The RHIS surveys are done on a quarterly basis and provide vital reef health status updates. It is a quantifiable survey method that has been found to be effective with well trained staff. GBRMPA regularly have training sessions for the industry staff enabling all participating companies to maintain a high standard of survey collection on high valued tourism sites.
These surveys are input onto a data system to enable scientists and GBRMPA to effectively and efficiently manage this World Heritage Icon – the Great Barrier Reef.
The funding also supports controlf of any pest corallivore activity/ alerts any outbreaks and allows fast and effective management as required. Our Coral Nurture programme started in 2019 continues to progress well and stewardship funding also assisting this successful programme in the next 2 years as well as increasing our interpretive content during Glass Bottom Boat Tours and Snorkel Tours to further enthrall guests with the wonderful stories of the Great Barrier Reef and all that resides there!