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World’s Best Managed Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is by far the most well managed reef in the entire world, with it’s own governing body and countless public advocates and not-for-profit groups in its corner. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is responsible for protecting the reef and ensuring its health and survival for future generations and works hand in hand with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. As its official caretakers for the past 40 years, it follows a strict guideline is set out in 1975 titled The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975.

The GBRMPA’s job is to not only manage the reef, but also assess and manage threats and deal with zoning, permits and plans. They plan and execute plans for its future, including the 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, which aims to preserve the living reef by working with working with government, community, aboriginal owners and other communities as well as its day to day activities of keeping the reef healthy.

As the largest living structure in the world, the Great Barrier Reef attracts millions of visitors each year who want to see one of the natural wonders of the world up close. With more than 1500 species of fish, 6 species of marine turtles, 350 species of coral, as well countless species of water snakes, aquatic birds, dolphins, whales, dugongs, and plant life, it is no easy feat to protect this extremely diverse and valuable ecosystem.

Some of the main points of their management is to conserve and protect the reef by:

  • increasing compliance focus to ensure zoning rules are followed

  • controlling crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks

  • ensuring cumulative impacts are considered when assessing development proposals

  • setting clear targets for action and measuring our success

  • monitoring the health of the ecosystem on a Reef-wide scale

  • implementing a Reef Recovery program to restore sites of high environmental value in regional areas — regional action recognises the variability of the Reef over such a large area and the variability of the issues and interests of communities and industries in each area

We can all do our part in protecting the reef by continuing to respect and honour its importance to the overall health of the oceans all over the world.

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