Overpopulation, over-fishing, and climate change are all issues which most of us have experienced on our travels around the world, particularly in poorer countries around South-East Asia, Central/South America and Africa. However, we are fortunate enough in Australia to have well protected wildlife and marine life as well as strict fishing and harvesting rules and regulations. With a relatively good economy and sense of good practice, we are all able to enjoy such a unique and pristine environment such as the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. This video aims to highlight this beautiful coastline and why key predatory species such as sharks as so important to keep these reefs healthy for us to all to enjoy. Sharks in the media is currently a very hot topic and one that unfortunately grabs peoples immediate attention. With such a huge diversity of shark species in Ningaloo with each their separate role to play, surely these creatures are some of the most important in this unique ecosystem.
Featuring footage shot during the Autumn and Winter in Western Australia, which is typically the best time to visit Ningaloo where Whale Sharks and Manta Rays which as some of the biggest fish in the oceans, come to feed on the abundant food supplies provided by the Leewin current and frequent up-wellings, we were able to compile underwater footage showing the Ningaloo Reef at its best highlighting what an incredible place this really is. As pressures on the Ningaloo Reef become greater due to rapid degradation of similar habitats and marine life populations around the world, we must ensure that our high eco-tourism standards are not compromised. Diving and Snorkeling enthusiasts are already having to travel so far to see particular species and paying large sums of money to do so. Examples include Sperms Whales in Dominica and Humpback Whales in Tonga where you can expect to pay upwards of $5,000 for a week to swim with these majestic creatures.
As Exmouth and Coral Bay locals, we must understand that people are paying large sums of money to come and visit our back yard and see some of the amazing marine life that it has to offer which for much of us provides our sole income. We must therefore obviously ensure visitors thoroughly enjoy their visit but the priority must be to educate them in order for them to leave this pristine environment as they have enjoyed it. Although our visitors may be experienced in some cases, they may or may not have learned responsible diving and snorkeling practices in their past. Examples of bad ocean practices seen on a regular basis include overcrowding and touching marine life, picking up and collecting mollusks, and sitting/standing on fragile hard corals.