Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dive Operator: Great Barrier Reef not Devastated by Flooding to the South

Last week Queensland tourism operators began a campaign to hedge against major losses in the wake of devastating floods in central and southeast Queensland.

Despite experiencing some of the best dive conditions in 20 years, dive operators are specifically having to push through world news headlines to refute reports that the Great Barrier Reef has been destroyed.

Divers are raving about the visibility and weather conditions on the Great Barrier Reef, with at least one industry stalwart describing it as the best he’s seen in 30 years.

As these photographs from Mike Ball Expeditions show, it is a far cry from the flood ravaged image being reported overseas, with some newspapers claiming the Great Barrier Reef has been destroyed.

Mike Ball Diving Expeditions operator Mike Ball said the global coverage of the Queensland floods was having a negative effect on the Far North’s diving industry, despite the floods being at least 1000km away from Cairns.

Mr Ball said some tourists were under the impression there was a plume of muddy water extending from Brisbane up to Cooktown.

"The news is going out worldwide and it’s sort of compelling, the public gets the idea that Queensland’s under water,’’ Mr Ball said.

But on the Reef, the visibility, in particular, was extraordinary for this time of year. "Occasionally you can see the length of a football field or more,’’ Mr Ball said.

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Be sure to check out more photos from a recent Mike Ball Dive Expeditions trip to Ribbon Reefs and Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea.

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