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Caring for the Reef

When you live and work in one of the most remarkable natural environments on the planet, it’s only natural to protect it!

As the first Great Barrier Reef company to gain Advanced Ecotourism, the highest eco certification attainable in Australia, Quicksilver, along with Great Adventures now reside in Ecotourism Australia’s Hall of Fame. We are recognized by the Great Barrer Reef Marine Park Authority as a High Standard Tourism Operator, an operator who shows high standards in environmental protection, reef resilience and sustainability. We’ve also held Climate Action accreditation since 2008.  What this means is that the company proactively undertakes adaptations and emissions reduction on all Quicksilver and Great Adventures vessels.

Reef Biosearch marine biologists, master reef guides and dive teams are involved in a variety of reef stewardship activities, including coral nurturing research projects, high frequency monitoring and permitted site intervention, supporting our long term commitment to conservation of the remarkable World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Monitoring and Site Intervention

Reef conservation efforts are enhanced with consistent stewardship activities. This includes long term observations and monitoring across an extensive network of reef sites, providing invaluable insights into the health of the GBR.

The Reef Biosearch teams participate in recognised programs to assist valuable research. Since 1986, Reef Biosearch has the longest ongoing logbook of marine observations on the Reef. Proudly, this evolved into the development of GBRMPA’s Eye on the Reef monitoring program.

Our own permits allow dedicated divers and biologists to conduct Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS) and Drupella gastropod eradication when needed. When densities of COTS and Drupella are eating coral faster than it can grow, intervention is needed to improve the overall resilience of the our Reef sites.

Coral Nurturing and Restoration Projects

Collaborative partnerships and scientific research are at the heart of ensuring the health and ongoing sustainability of the world’s largest reef system. The Reef Biosearch teams are involved in three collaborative coral reef research projects, each using different techniques, at three key reef sites – Quicksilver Cruises Agincourt Reef 3, Great Adventures Moore Reef, and Great Adventures Green Island.

Our marine biologists and master reef guides also provide the opportunity for guests to learn more about these projects during their reef experiences.

These projects are conducted under special GBRMPA permits. Ultimately they are aimed at helping to preserve the significant ecological, social and economic value of the Great Barrier Reef.

The knowledge gained from these projects and the type of techniques suited to different areas, will aid scientific understanding and the long term management of not only the Great Barrier Reef, but reefs world-wide.

4 Divers Installing Reef Stars
Process for Coral Restoration on the Beach
Diver Measuring Coral
Coral restoration Progress after 2 years

Tourism Reef Protection Initiative

Caring for the reefs we love

Our stewardship teams have been diving deep into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s (GBRMPA) Tourism Reef Protection Initiative, doing important monitoring and conservation work.

From high frequency reef health surveys and monitoring, to crown-of-thorns starfish and drupella control, and more; the Tourism Reef Protection Initiative allows us to play an increased role in the management and preserving this wonderful place we call home.

Following the success of the initial program conducted throughout 20-2021, the expansion of the initiative had dual aims; conservation and protection of high value tourism sites within the World Heritage Marine Park, and the support of the reef tourism industry’s post pandemic recovery.

The ongoing continuation of the program will help to ensure a sustainable future alongside a thriving Great Barrier Reef.

Some Cool Facts

  • Reef Biosearch (est 1986) has the longest ongoing logbook of marine observations on the Reef and evolved into GBRMPA’s Eye on the Reef program.
  • Quicksilver’s fleet have the most advanced new generation engines and are ready for renewable fuels when commercially available.
  • The Coral Restoration Research Project at Agincourt Reef was the first of its kind on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Home of the Green Island Living Classroom, solar energy now supplies one quarter of Green Island needs – pretty impressive on a rainforest covered island!

 Project Snapshots

Coral restoration Progress after 2 years

Quicksilver Cruises, Agincourt Reef 3 – Commenced 2018

This project involved restoration of a small coral bommie which was impacted by cyclonic waves. With an unstable substrate, natural recovery was impeded. Mesh structures were installed to grow coral fragments into colonies, initially connected to a power source. Collaborative project with Reef Ecologic and the first of this type conducted in the GBR.

Learn more

Master Reef Guide Diving for Coral

Great Adventures Green Island
“New York” site – Commenced 2020

This project involved attaching coral fragments to 165 hexagonal frame “Stars”, additional coral fragments attached with coral clips, as well as a trial of biodegradable cable ties. Multi-stakeholder project with partners including MARS Sustainable Solutions, James Cook University, Reef Operators, GBRMPA & QPWS, Gunggandji Land and Sea Rangers.

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Coral on a Floating Nursery

Great Adventures, Moore Reef –
Commenced 2019

This Coral Nurture Program uses an innovative coral clip to attach corals to the substrate. Corals of opportunity are planted directly or grown in a nursery to be planted at the coral colony. This method allows corals to be propagated in areas which have proven to be very challenging for traditional methods. Collaborative project with University of Technology Sydney.

Learn more