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Climate Media Centre

MEDIA ALERT: Third mass Reef bleaching in five years: experts available

Third mass Great Barrier Reef bleaching in five years: experts available

As new research shows the Great Barrier Reef has experienced its third mass coral bleaching in just five years, the following reef tourism operators and experts are available for comment: 

Audio and video grabs available for download here.

For interviews, contact Fiona Ivits at 0487 003 872 or Vaidehi Shah at 0452 290 082

Dr Dean Miller, director, Great Barrier Reef Legacy. 

Dean has just returned from Lizard Island where he documented the bleaching and experienced the impact of the marine heatwave first hand. He can talk about the health of our Great Barrier Reef, how the Reef is struggling to cope with climate change and how this bleaching event compares to the bleaching events of 2016 and 2017.

Location: Port Douglas

John Rumney, CEO, Eye to Eye Marine Encounters.

John has also returned from Lizard Island and can talk about his experiences inspecting the coral and diving the Great Barrier Reef. He can talk in depth about the extent of the coal bleaching, outline how his business has been affected by coral bleaching, and the tourism concerns as a result of climate impacts.

Location: Port Douglas.

Tony Fontes, diving and tourism operator. 

Tony has been diving the Great Barrier Reef for 35 years. He can talk about the impact of reef bleaching to tourism and operators, his business and community, as well as impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. Tony can also talk about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected tourism livelihoods, and why measures to reduce bleaching are essential for the industry’s survival. 

Location: Whitsundays

David Cazzulino, Reef Campaigner, Australian Marine Conservation Society 

David can talk about the importance of reef-safe climate policy to protect the future of the Great Barrier Reef, what policies are needed to help reef tourism operators and Queenslanders through the coronavirus pandemic, and why reducing emissiosn is key to saving the reef. Location: Cairns 

Deborah Dickson-Smith, Diveplanit Travel 

Deborah can talk about how prime tourist sites offshore from Port Douglas, Cairns and the Whitsundays have mercifully avoided severe bleaching, but the anxiety amongst tourism businesses like her own that not enough is being done to protect business from the ongoing climate threat to the reef. Location: Cairns

Tanya Murphy, Divers for Reef Conservation
Tanya can talk about how the Reef sustains marine life, and supports thousands of tourism and hospitality jobs like hers, and in normal times, generates $6 billion for the Australian economy. She can talk about why a healthy Great Barrier Reef will be essential to the Queensland economy when coronavirus travel restrictions lift. Location: Cairns 

For interviews, contact Fiona Ivits at 0487 003 872 or Vaidehi Shah at 0452 290 082