Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

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The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park protects a large part of Australia's Great Barrier Reef from damaging activities. Fishing and the removal of artifacts or wildlife (fish, coral, sea shells etc.) is strictly regulated, and commercial shipping traffic must stick to certain specific defined shipping routes that avoid the most sensitive areas of the park. The Great barrier reef is the world's largest cluster of corals and other exotic marine life.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) are the administrators of the park. They issue permits for various forms of use of the marine park, monitor usage in the park to ensure compliance with park management. The GBRMPA is funded by Commonwealth Government Appropriations that includes an environmental management charge levied on the permit-holders passengers. Currently this is AUD$4.50 per day per passenger (to a maximum of $13.50 per trip).[1]

Contents

Geography

The park lies east of the mainland coast of Queensland, starting in the north at Cape York. Its northern boundary is the Circle of Latitude 10°41'S (running east up to the eastern edge of the Great Barrier Reef at 145º19'33"E),[2] thereby encompassing those few uninhabited Torres Strait Islands that are east of Cape York, south of 10°41'S and north of 11°00'S. The largest of those island are Albany Island (5.9 km²), Turtle Head Island (12.8 km²) and Trochus Island (2.2 km²). Further islands are Mai Island (0.25 km²), Bush Island (0.2 km2), Tree Islet (0.01 km²), Brewis Island (0.05 km²), and a few unnamed islets.

History

In 1975, the Government of Australia enacted the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, which created the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and defined what acts were prohibited on the Reef. The Australian Government also has recognised the ecological significance of this Park by its inclusion in the nation's Biodiversity Action Plan.[3] The Government of Australia manages the reef through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and in partnership with the Government of Queensland, to ensure that it is widely understood and used in a sustainable manner. A combination of zoning, management plans, permits, education and incentives (such as eco-tourism certification) are used in the effort to conserve the Great Barrier Reef.

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