Thursday, February 17, 2011

Aussie Dive Operator: Cyclone Produces Rare Underwater Spectacle for Scuba Divers

A fish frenzy, to be exact.

DIVE boat owner Phillip Hobbs knows better than most that thousands of livelihoods depend on the Queensland tourism industry bouncing back - and fast.

"There has been some damage to the coral of the inner reef," the veteran Cairns-based operator admitted.

"It is murky and green in the water, but it is nothing we have not seen before. It will clear up."

Mr Hobbs, operator of Tusa Dive and luxury dive boat Spirit of Freedom, has an expedition of 20 divers headed to the Coral Sea today amid reports of increased fish activity following Cyclone Yasi.

Big fish including tuna, mackerel, swordfish, marlin and sharks are known to become particularly active after a cyclone - a rare underwater spectacle for divers.

But the images of destruction back on land which received wide coverage interstate and overseas, compounded by a heavy wet season, has reef trip directors working closely with overseas agents to avert mass cancellations.

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"This is not the first cyclone to go over the Great Barrier Reef and it won't be the last," Mr Hobbs said.

"Luckily most of us are unscathed and we need to get that message out."

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