Everyone wants the reef to stay healthy.
Everyone wants the reef to stay healthy. Contributed

OPINION: Listen to tourism operators on reef health

NOBODY wants to hear news of the demise of the Great Barrier Reef.

It is a shame that some scientists go to extraordinary lengths to create alarming headlines that simply are not true.

Recently world attention was drawn to the health of the Far Northern Great Barrier Reef when a group of scientists flew over the reef conducting aerial surveys. They reported that up to 95% of the reef was suffering bleaching.

Many people wrongly assume that when coral reefs become bleached, they automatically die. This is not the case.

The Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) decided to conduct their own surveys by actually diving on the reefs over a two week period.

AMPTO has reported less than 5% of the same reefs are facing mortality from the world's biggest-ever coral bleaching event.

AMPTO would like an apology from the scientists over their alarming reports but they are not holding their breath.

It is in the best interests of AMPTO to say it as it is.

It is not in the best interests of AMPTO to cover up or downplay the damage that has been done.

Let's hope it is not too long before we start seeing a gradual improvement in the health of these once pristine reefs.