Statement: from Marine Park Authority Board

August 2019

The Marine Park Authority Board — that oversee the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority — have issued the following statement about the health and management of the Great Barrier Reef:

  • Coral reefs globally are deteriorating, including the Great Barrier Reef, and we understand the causes for the decline. The primary cause is climate change impacts requiring national and international action. There are also regional and local threats that have to be addressed such as land-based runoff, coral‐eating crown-of-thorns starfish and coastal development. These are being addressed on the Reef under the leadership of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Queensland’s Office of the Great Barrier Reef and with the support of many Reef stakeholders, to reduce threats, improve reef resilience and support its recovery with the goal of a healthy and productive Reef.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is a vast and spectacular ecosystem and one of the most complex natural systems on Earth and its natural beauty, natural phenomena and heritage values endure and underpin significant social, cultural and economic benefits for Australia and is especially important to the regional Queensland communities. Despite recent declines, the Reef remains a beautiful, vibrant, resilient, globally iconic ecosystem.
  • The Reef is:
    • The best managed coral reef system on the globe through the leadership of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
    • The best researched and monitored coral reef system in the world primarily through the effort of our research institutions (e.g. Australian Institute of Marine Science, CSIRO, National Environmental Science Program and universities) but also with the strong involvement of industry including tourism, fishing and ports, traditional owners and a growing community contribution through citizen science programs
    • A place where Traditional Owners maintain their connections to the Reef and are engaged in its management, research and monitoring
    • The reef to visit to experience the wonders and beauty of coral reefs as it is the safest and one of the easiest coral reefs to visit in the world through a quality focused, professional and regulated tourist industry centred on the long-term stewardship of the Reef.