Snorkeling and The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is considered the largest and the longest in the globe. The reef boasts a length of 1,250 miles coupled with the abundant coral flora and fauna. It is located in Australia’s northeast coast and contains a plethora of both aquatic and terrestrial life.
Generally speaking, it is safe to swim year round in the the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, and Port Douglas. It is, however, highly recommended that in the warmer months of November-April that you wear a full-body lycra suit to protect yourself from potential marine stings.
The Nitty Gritty of Potential Dangers
The question “is it safe to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef?” has been a bone of contention for ages now. Many marine biologists and other professionals “No” based on the various concepts and facts posited by different marine biologists and professionals. The coastal coral reef along the Australian coast provides the world’s most conducive environment for the proliferation of marine fauna and flora.
The many aquatic species and the exquisite climatic conditions have been the rich factors that attract droves of tourists from various parts of the world in order to savor the scintillating scenery and spectacles. The gateway to the Great Barrier Reef is the north of tropical Queensland. There is an immense wealth of more than 1,500 fish species supported by the healthy breeding grounds and sufficient plankton population, which is a vital meal to the fish and other fauna.
Funny enough, the rich ecosystem facilitates the massive reproduction and growth of sea species that are considered vital and fatal depending on the type of interaction experienced between the species and humans. Vital fauna serves as food to the other species and that helps to restore the ecological balance through the food chain.
Evolutionary speaking, the venom or armaments the reptiles and other marine life portray are meant for offense or defense and the best piece of advice given to humans is “fight or flight”. The former case implies that the reptiles only strike when aggravated over some degree of provocation. Otherwise, the Box Jellyfish and Irukandji are harmless in normal temperament levels.
Luckily, tourists to the Great Barrier Reef are advised to consult with the huge host of expertise such as divers, skippers, and the boat crews who are well equipped to offer aid whenever required. The Great Barrier Reef personnel are armed with the skills and knowledge on how to counteract the challenges such as stings and bites within the premises. Such individuals are available in every facility that offers services in order to stem the “sting and bite” phobia propagated by the media.
Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef is inevitable and highly advised because of the indispensable wealth of fauna and flora in the place.
The visitors are advised to contact the professionals whenever there is a need to seek clarification, in order to avert unfortunate cases of accidents such as bites and stings. One is also strongly advised to adhere strictly to the instructions for the safety of all. A successful trip to the Great Barrier Reef is determined by the level of caution and degree of consultation with the marine professionals in the vicinity.
There are various aquatic organisms that are found in the Great Barrier Reef. The chief focus is on the fauna that has been negatively discussed as dangerous to humans. The most infamous ones are the Box Jellyfish and Irukandji. The research on search species has helped superimpose the idea that such animals are only found in Australia, but they are also found elsewhere in the world. Research seems to focus on the Great Barrier Reef only.
Both the Irukandji and Box Jellyfish are known for their lethal stings. The venom injected via the stings is perilous but the situation can be arrested via speedy medical attention. The gross impact from the poison is also determined by the nature of the victims. For instance, the situation is worse in people who have hypertension.
The negative publicity of snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef has been exaggerated by the press due to various ulterior motives. Why? Both the Box Jellyfish and Irukandji are found in other parts of the globe. Furthermore, the Irukandji and Jellyfish are rare to encounter and the species rarely come out from the reef.
The huge number species in Australia makes the trip to the Great Barrier Reef inevitable. Failure from snorkeling in the place would deny one the opportunity to see the tantalizing coral features and jaw-dropping floral and faunal species that cannot be spotted in any other part of the world.
Besides, Australian beaches localized within the Great Barrier Reef have been protected against the bites and stings from Jellyfish and Irukandji. There is numerous personnel who have been recruited to ensure the safety of the tourists.
The visitors are encouraged to use a lycra suit which serves as a protection gear which covers the better part of the skin. The integument is then cushioned against contacting the harmful creatures if any. The protective gear is provided by the facilities at the beaches such as Port Douglas, Palm Cove, and Trinity Beach. The probability of suffering from stings and bite is less compared to the impact of sunburns. Such a scenario is heavily supported by statistics available in the public domain.
For example, the fatalities per year in 100,000 people stands at 0.4% among the Great Barrier Reef tourists. The number of Australians who succumb when touring Indonesia per 100,000 individuals stands at 8.72%. 37.42% of Australians in every 100,000 people die when visiting Thailand while a huge 57.7% in each 100,000 Australians die while touring the Philippines. The numbers imply that it far better to go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef than opting for other touted destinations.
The aspect of snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef is an event of a lifetime that one can never afford to fail. The wealth of fauna and flora are worth a try. The excellent services are unmatched. The experience of the natural geography is like no other. Adequate knowledge about snorkling the Great Barrier Reef is required in order to have a fun and successful experience.