January 2017 on the Great Barrier Reef
Captain Trevor Jackson
Let’s be frank. Yes the Great Barrier Reef copped some bleaching last summer. North of about Cooktown many of the inner reefs were damaged by high water temperatures that the coral simply could not cope with. But the media hype that followed was nothing short of ridiculous…” Great Barrier Reef Wiped Out!”; “All Over for GBR” etc, etc. It was a headline grabbing fun fest that had folks shaking their tabloids above their heads yelling “OMG what have we done?”
In response to this media hype we had to go see for ourselves far and wide, along the Great Barrier Reef what the implications of this event might be for our divers and for dive tourism in general. We steamed to and fro and were at times disappointed, at times elated at the state of the coral at each of our destinations. The question on everyone’s lips was… would we have to change our itineraries to keep on top of the game? To quote a famous self-help book… did we need to “Move our cheese”?
Then a funny thing happened. In pursuit of this task we began diving where we’d never been before, and we found that not only were most of these sites undamaged by bleaching, some of them were the BEST spots we’d ever found. In short we now had an even bigger quandary. How could we change our itineraries to support and showcase the “GREAT” that we had found?
Now all this is hot off the press, I can’t even suggest to you what the outcome might be, where Spoilsport might find itself in 2017 and 2018, but I can say this with some certainty…
DO we need to holistically address rising sea temps? Wholeheartedly. Is the Barrier Reef still Great? Yes it is…in epic proportions.