The Federal Government has unveiled plans to tackle the destructive crown-of-thorns starfish, announcing a $60 million plan to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Barry Jenkins the chairman of Superyacht Australia said “A bulk of the funding, to be rolled out in the next 18 months will be spent on measures to prevent polluted water entering the reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is a critical national asset — we support this initiative to ensure the future of the Reef for the benefit of all Australians, particularly those members whose livelihoods depend on the reef.
This funding initiative is all about investing in the future of the reef itself and looking at how technology can assist us in terms of new ways to help the reef adapt and recover.”
Superyacht Australia stated the funding boost will help put to rest fears about the health of the natural wonder. There is as always significant interest by superyachts wanting to cruise the Great Barrier Reef and with the additional anchorages now available visitation to the area is expected to increase. This is essential for the growth of the industry in Australia and particularly in North Queensland.
It is understood $6 million would go towards the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the CSIRO to “develop new ways for the reef to adapt and recover”.
A further $5 million would boost the number of field officers who would be able to provide earlier warnings about bleaching.
The funding was timely with the reef in recovery from consecutive years of bleaching.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chairman and chief executive officer Russell Reichelt said the intervention was essential. “Water quality is critical, and improving water quality is critical,” he said.