One Month to Go in the Photo Competition

Only one month to go with the Reefcheck photo competition so get your entries in quickly. With the judges nixing my idea of a special category for algae in this years competition, I am all out of ideas for something different. So get your creative juices flowing and send in your entries. Algae the grass of the sea, very underrated and very much an integral part of the ecosystem. Keep the pressure up for an algae category in 2009!

Supporting Research on the Great Barrier Reef

New Horizon, like many good operators on the Great Barrier Reef work hand in hand with the academic community, federal and state governments, charities, as well standards bodies to ensure that the Great Barrier Reef will be there for generations to come. The more we learn about the reef the more we are able to minimize the human impact. Before you book your trip make sure you are doing your bit and supporting operators that support the ecosystem they are part of. I have listed several of them below for quick reference.
There are several government programs that encourage and develop a working partnership between tourism, researchers and government bodies that continually gather information and monitor the health of one of the world’s most precious resources. The highest profile program is the “Eye on the Reef” ( program which incorporates several different facets of reef monitoring. This program is run and sponsored by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) from Townsville and incorporates many tourism operators throughout the Barrier Reef.
Reef Check ( regular inspections and colony counts to track and monitor the growth of existing reef as well as new. This active research is designed to understand the recovery and growth that reef undertakes given the impacts that they suffer including human and natural. Donations to support the research are always welcome and can made online here. They are also looking for supporters to donate time and resources to help cover as much as the Great Barrier Reef as possible.
The Australian Marine Conversation Society organizes campaigns to create protected marine areas and species throughout Australia. Their current focus evolves around climate change, marine parks and overfishing.

Great Weather in Cairns

Traditionally the tourist season slows down after Easter and picks up again in July. This seems such a shame as many people miss the best time of the year. We have had great conditions both in town and out on the reef. The wind continues to behave itself giving us fantastic conditions again this week. If you want to enjoy Cairns in the slower time of the year I suggest you head on down in the off season and get to experience North Queensland in the quieter times.

The Real Shark Experience

Many of our guests get to experience swimming with a shark up close and immediately they see the myths around sharks are exactly that, myths. These encounters are often the highlight of the trip for people that only a few days before were terrified to share the water with a shark.
Shark Water is about to be released in Australia on May 15th. It is a great documentary and well worth a trip to the theatre. If you are interested is showing your support there are many shark support organizations listed the movies’ website.
The timing of the release of the movie is perfect considering that there is a current push to legitimize the fishing and finning of sharks on the Great Barrier Reef. You can voice your objection via AMCS at their website .