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Derwent Hunter keeps an ‘Eye on the Reef’
3 February 2015
Eye on the Reef Training Day
The Derwent Hunter crew are getting excited for the official annual “Eye on the Reef” Training Day for Whitsunday Tourism Crew being held on Friday 6 February in Airlie Beach.
Crew will be updating their knowledge on reef tools such as Tourism Weekly and the Reef Health & Impact Survey. It’s also a chance for our crew to have answered all those tricky questions they have been saving for the GBRMPA specialists.
Our Monitoring site Black Island (Bali Hai)
The monitoring site looked after by Tall Ship Adventures is iconic Black Island (Bali Hai) located opposite Hayman Island. Black Island has beautiful soft corals, a green turtle population and a beautiful beach to relax on- it has it all.
Our crew aim to record observations about the reef health, the presence and absence of protected species and water quality. The information that is collected on “Eye on the Reef” contributes to a data management system that enables the development of a reef-wide picture of the ecosystem’s health.
Protected species – Green Turtles
The animal that our crew and guests get most excited about would have to be the Green Turtles. We are lucky enough to see these guys in abundance at our two sites of Black Island and Langford Reef.
Green turtles are a species protected by law and require special management. They are cold blooded and breathe air, and can often be seen coming up to the surface to breathe.
Our green turtles our typically 60cm in length but can grow up to 1.5m. Guest can usually see the green turtles in subtidal and intertidal coral and rocky reefs, where they feed on algae.
Swimming alongside a turtle is a luxury and a once in a lifetime experience for many people. Guests are encouraged to follow best practice around turtles by swimming calmly and slowly next to them and not interfering with their need to breathe.
Turtles are at the most risk when breathing on the surface, so it is essential that speedboats travel slowly in reef areas. The reef is not a place for being the fastest. The slowest and most graceful win the day.
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