This is the the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, considered to be one of the top dive and snorkelling sites in the world, dotted with impressive coral cays and reefs that are only a stone’s throw away from the coast.
It is famous for its untouched, colourful and varied reef ecosystems with marine life and truly special environment.
With this in my mind, I was snorkelling in the Withsundays when something special happened – something I will never forget. It left me speechless for a long time.
The Great Barrier Reef is sick. Amongst the colourful fish and soft coral, I swam closer to a beach nearby and I could see dead coral everywhere.
Paul snorkelled in the same spot 10 years ago and had no memory whatsoever of a scenery like this. In fact, a landmark study has found almost half the Great Barrier Reef’s coral has disappeared in the past 27 years and less than a quarter could be left within a decade unless action is taken.
The crew from the Mantaray cruise was actually extremely careful in explaining the ecology and creating an awareness of the reef. This included helping to reduce our footprint by not providing flippers to help protect the reef conditions. However, it was sad to see other crews not having any type of consideration for such an importance natural reserve.
This is not just an issue for Australia, it affects all of us! The idea that others in the future may not have the opportunity to see the reef in all its glory is really sad. Last year when I went to the outer reef, it was amazing! Closer to shore and in more populated areas, it is not looking so good. As citizens of the world, let’s send a message that this must be protected and cared for.