With No Tourists, Australian Scuba Tours Are Planting Coral Instead


The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is no longer deserted as tour operators have decided to use the time when there are no tourists on coral restoration missions. They were joined by the staff of the tourist ships, which remained empty in the ports at that time.


The Australian dive operator, Passion Paradise, in a situation where tourists are banned from visiting the sights due to coronaviruses, have voluntarily decided to engage their crews to plant corals on the Great Barrier Reef.

According to Chief Executive Officer Scott Garden’s statement for the travel industry publisher Karryon, their company donated their state-of-the-art Passions III catamaran and fuel to transport four enthusiastic crews and scientists to Hastings Reef for the Coral Nurture program.

This mission was undertaken to assist a team of Dr. David Suggett from the University of Technology Sydney who is conducting research on reef resistance at one of Australia’s 26 reef sites.

Scot pointed out that:

“I have been working with Passions of Paradise Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Russell Hosp at that location for most of the week, recording information for the project and establishing a coral nursery.”

Volunteers have also been involved in helping the project volunteer. Hosp and Passions of Paradise marine biologist Kirsty Whitman, who are the guides of Master Reef.

Project coordinator and Ph.D. student Lorna Howlett said that four other companies are involved in the Cairns and Port Douglas reefs along with Passion of Paradise.


Lorna Howlett told Karryon that the aim of the Coral Nurture Program is to give operators yet another stewardship activity they can do, besides the Crown-of-Thorns eradication and the Eye on the Reef monitoring program.

Here are two new things in this program:

  • This is the first time that at the Great Barrier Reef, tourist operators have collaborated with researchers and
  • the first time a coral clip has been used to attach corals to the reef.

This process involves finding fragments of coral, which have naturally separated, and that their attachment to the reef is carried out using a coral buckle. Only fragments of the site can be used, so the Passion of Paradise has placed six frames in that location that can be used as a nursery for growing multiple corals.

Coral fragments attach to the nursery and as they grow, fragments can be separated from them so that they can attach to the reef, which is a continuous source of new corals for them. The project has been running for 11 months now and ends next month; however, operators can continue to manage the nurseries and pick up corals.

According to Mr. A garden on the Hastings ridge planted about 1000 pieces of coral.

When tourists return, they will have the opportunity to dive into a place that boasts healthy marine life and corals near the nursery.

Recognition for the conservation of the World Heritage Site also belongs to the Passion of Paradise, which is committed to maintaining a locally owned business through a number of initiatives, including neutral carbon emissions.


Even those people who live far away from coral reefs can affect the health and conservation of the reef.

1)         Choose sustainable seafood

Find seafood selection information at www.fishwatch.gov.

2)         Conserve water.

With the savings of water use, there is less runoff and wastewater that eventually returns to the ocean.

3)         Volunteering.

To volunteer for a local beach or reef clean up if you are near the coast, and if you do not live near the coast, get involved in protecting your watershed.

4)         Corals are already a gift

Do not use and give corals as gifts, as they take a decade or longer to create reef structures. They need to be left on the ridge.

5)         Long-lasting bulbs are a bright idea

Using energy-efficient light bulbs reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is also one of the leading threats to coral reef survival. If you dive, don’t touch. Coral reefs are alive. Stirred-up sediment can smother corals.

6)         If you dive, don’t touch

Coral reefs are alive so stirring -up sediment can smother corals.

7)         Check the active ingredients for sunscreen

Use UVF protective clothing and choose sunscreens with chemicals that do not harm marine life. The best way is to look for shade between 10:00 and 14:00.

Visit oceanservice.noaa.gov sunscreen for more information

8)         Being a sea cruiser

Pick up your trash, but also the rest you find thrown away where it doesn’t belong.

9)         Do not discharge chemicals into the waterways.

Chemicals create nutrients in the water and increase the growth of algae that block sunlight for corals.

10)       Practice safe rowing

Anchoring should be in sandy areas, away from corals and seagrasses. Make sure that the anchor and chain are not pulled on nearby corals. There are also many things you can do to ensure that you are environmentally conscious when you visit coral reefs or coastal areas.

Anyone can do a lot to conserve the environment when visiting coral reefs or coastal areas. These are the activities that can be undertaken:

  • Engaging local guides to support the economy,
  • Removal of garbage from the area,
  • Do not touch or disturb wildlife
  • Avoiding lowering a boat anchor or chain near a coral reef.

The most important thing is to keep people informed and share information. Knowing why healthy coral reefs are valuable to humans, fish, plants, and animals are of great importance because they depend on them. Your interest and reactions can help others get involved.


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