Factors influencing the Region’s values
Enjoyment of the Region is likely being affected by water quality declines.
Land-based run-off can also affect social values such as the personal connections, enjoyment and appreciation of an area. In a 2013 survey of visitors to the Region, the most important motivations for their visit were those relating to the state of the ecosystem, for example clarity of water, iconic species, healthy reef fish and healthy coral reefs (see Figure 5.6).127 Marine debris, especially on islands and beaches, is a major factor determining people’s enjoyment of the Reef environment. Catchment residents and tourists surveyed in 2013 regarding what they value about the Great Barrier Reef indicated a lack of rubbish as one of the most important aspects.127 The need to improve the quality of land-based run-off flowing into the Great Barrier Reef is the major impetus for many community-based stewardship programs such as farmers and graziers taking actions to improve river habitats, minimise erosion and improve the effectiveness of fertiliser applications; local governments improving the quality of run-off from urban areas; and students building sustainable gardens and revegetating habitats.
6.6 Direct use
Direct use of the Region includes commercial marine tourism, defence activities, fishing, ports, recreation, research and educational activities, shipping and the traditional use of marine resources. The trends in direct uses are summarised from the relevant sections in Chapter 5. The analysis of the vulnerability of the Region’s values to direct use as a whole and its implications for regional communities are based on the evidence and assessments presented in Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5.
6.6.1 Trends in direct use
Direct use activities continue to be a significant influence on the Region.