Additional pressures

2016

Localised, small-scale pressures on the marine environment associated with offshore tourism activities, such as offshore pontoons and cruise vessels (mostly confined to the Great Barrier Reef and the North-west Marine Region), are possibly being exerted on coral reef environments. Boat-based watching or targeted swimming activities focused on species such as whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) and minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) may also place pressures on the marine environment. Trials of a tourism operation focused on swimming activities with humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Ningaloo region, similar to that already occurring with whale sharks, are planned for the winter season of 2016. Most activities are highly managed, and any impacts are assumed to be minor and short lived, although pressures on these environments and species—particularly those that are long term and chronic in nature—are largely unknown. A comprehensive assessment of the pressures associated with tourism is provided in the Coasts report; those associated with the Great Barrier Reef are addressed in the Great Barrier Reef outlook report 2014 (GBRMPA 2014a).

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Evans K, Bax NJ, Smith DC (2016). Marine environment: Additional pressures. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/marine-environment/topic/2016/additional-pressures, DOI 10.4226/94/58b657ea7c296