Because we spend so much time fishing and snorkelling, we often get asked the question; Is the Barrier Reef dying?
And while it is difficult to answer that question definitively, we have found some areas very badly damaged and dying.
We have also found many areas with quite good coral cover, both hard and soft corals.
But on this day, we found the most amazing coral we have seen in 20 years.
Is the Great Barrier Reef dying?
Yes there have been some dramatic events affecting the reef over the past decade.
Turns out a recent report has shown that this year, the reef has experienced a good deal of growth.
The Great Barrier Reef is currently in a recovery window with coral cover rising in all three regions.
After severe cyclones, crown of thorns starfish and back to bleaching events, the resilience of the reef has been severely tested.
A really interesting summary of the long term monitoring of the reef can be seen >> here. Do take the time to have a look.
Media coverage of the Great Barrier Reef dying has been a hot topic of recent years.
As we know they love to cover negative events more than positive ones.
Good news stories are relegated to a 3 minute ‘feel good’ time slot on the nightly news.
So it was refreshing to not only find a pristine reef on our last trip, but also to hear the good news that the reef is indeed recovering.
How long this continues will depend on factors like cyclones, temperature and disease outbreaks.
But as we show in this video, the Great Barrier Reef is not dying quite yet.
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Fishing the Great Barrier Reef
As we know the Barrier Reef supports a myriad of organisms that support fish stocks – all supported by the hard corals (the building blocks of the reef).
We would have to say in recent years, shark depredation has had a significant effect on fish stocks. Rather than the Barrier Reef dying.
It would be great to see more research being done into bull shark numbers because they seem to have exploded in recent years.
Possibly because of significant protection measures brought in a decade ago.
Whilst we understand that large predators like sharks are vital to the reef’s health.
We have also noticed an imbalance between bull shark numbers exploding and other sharks that seem to have declined or remained the same.
Yes we do know they have learned to follow boats. But they have been doing that for forty years. It’s not newly learned behaviour.
Gear and Tackle Used
While fishing inshore Cooktown, we used gear from our gear and tackle cheat sheet.
The cheat sheet contains some of Ryan’s favourites.
If they are no longer available, simply ask your tackle shop for the equivalent.
I hope you enjoyed our video on the Great Barrier Reef dying.
As we mentioned previously, Cooktown is the gateway to the north and we have several blogs in the area.
If you’ve missed our trip to Princess Charlotte Bay you can watch the whole adventure >> here.
Stay tuned next week as we head offroad and explore Cape Bedford in the Hilux.
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