Under the Native Title Act 1993, native title holders retain the right to legally hunt dugongs and green turtles for «personal, domestic or non-commercial needs of the community.»  [unreliable source?] Underneath the aqua-blue waters off Australia`s northeast coast lie the jewels of the deep – 1,500 species of fish, 400 species of corals, 4,000 species of mussels and snails, and who knows how many sponges, starfish and sea urchins. Welcome to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia`s most famous natural attraction and the only living creature on Earth visible from the moon. And while climate change and pollution have endangered it, the 136,000-square-mile wonder remains one of the most amazing sites on the planet. You can snorkel, snorkel, hop on or fly over a semi-submersible boat. But how? There are plenty of gateways to the reef along the Queensland coast – and many tours that promise close access. Here`s what you need to know for a truly epic experience. For more tips on planning a Down Under trip, pick up Frommer`s EasyGuide to Australia. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1981, the Great Barrier Reef is the world`s largest and most complex reef system and one of Australia`s most precious natural wonders. Larger than New Zealand (344,400 square kilometers or 70 million football fields), it is home to a staggering variety of life, including a number of rare and endangered species, such as: The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world, consisting of more than 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands spanning 2,300 kilometres (1,400 miles) over an area approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 square miles).   The reef is located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from space and is the largest structure in the world created by living organisms.  This reef structure is made up of billions of tiny organisms known as coral polyps.
 It is home to a great diversity of life and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1981.   CNN called it one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  The Queensland National Trust has called him a Queensland government icon.  The waters off Port Douglas are home to spectacular coral peaks and cathedral passages; giant clams at Barracuda Pass; a village with parrotfish, anemonefish, unicornfish and moray eels at the head of Nursery Bommie; fan corals at Split Bommie; and many other miracles. Without a doubt, the most popular large vessels visiting the outer reef are the Port Douglas-based Quicksilver Wavepiercers (pictured above). These elegant, fast, air-conditioned catamarans measuring 121 feet (37 m) and 46 m (151 feet) carry 300 or 440 passengers to Agincourt Reef, 72 km (45 miles) from the coast. After the 90-minute ride to the reef, you`ll moor at a two-story pontoon for 3.5 hours. Other options include a trip to three outdoor reef sites aboard the Poseidon dive boat (divers are welcome) or, closer to shore, a relaxing day on the Low Isles, 15 km (9.5 miles) northeast of Port Douglas.
These lush plots are surrounded by white sand and 54 acres of coral. I once spent GBR time with whales, counting for miracle yields plus normal whale yields. No idea if I got to enjoy the whales luckily, I don`t think I had a fishing boat on it because you can`t go into the tile. I had it with Spain, but never with fish and Spain Significant achievements since the adoption of the plan in 2003 include the creation of the Reef Quality Partnership to set targets, report on results and monitor progress towards the targets, improved land condition by landowners has been rewarded with extended leases, Water quality improvement plans were created to identify regional objectives and to determine the management changes that needed to be made to achieve these objectives. Nutrient management zones have been created to combat sediment loss in specific areas, educational programmes have been launched to garner support for sustainable agriculture, changes have been made to land management practices through the implementation of farm management systems and codes of conduct, with the creation of the Queensland Wetlands Program and other successes have been achieved in improving the quality of water flowing into coral reefs. Of course, the reef is also great for scuba diving – even if you`ve never done it before. Every large liveaboard and many special dive boats offer introductory dives («resort dives») that allow you to pass under the waves to a depth of 6 m (20 feet) without certification with an instructor. You will have to fill out a medical questionnaire and undergo a briefing on the boat. Divers are spoilt for choice: dive boats that make day trips to the outer reef, boats that offer overnight stays and boats that make excursions of up to a week. A typical five-hour day trip is divided into two dives. Visit Dive Queensland for thin divers.
The Great Barrier Reef has long been known and used by Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. Aboriginal Australians have lived in the area for at least 40,000 years, and Torres Strait Islanders for about 10,000 years.  For these approximately 70 clan groups, the reef is also an important cultural feature.  Sediment runoff from agriculture transports chemicals into the reef environment and also reduces the amount of light available to corals and reduces their ability to extract energy from their environment.  When the plan was tabled in October 2003, it originally contained 65 measures based on previous legislation. Their immediate goal was to halt and reverse the decline in the quality of water entering the reef by 2013. By 2020, they hope the quality of water entering the reef will improve enough not to harm the health of the Great Barrier Reef. To achieve these goals, they decided to reduce pollutants in the water entering the reef and to rehabilitate and preserve areas of the reef that naturally help reduce water pollutants. In order to achieve the objectives described above, this plan focuses on point sources of pollution that cannot be traced back to a single source, such as waste disposal. Four groups of traditional owners agreed in 2011 to stop hunting dugongs in the area as their numbers declined, accelerated in part by seagrass damage caused by Cyclone Yasi.
 Oscillations can have local effects on the reef and provide buoyancy of fresh water, which is sometimes rich in nutrients that contribute to eutrophication.   Unsustainable overfishing of keystone species such as the giant newt can disrupt food chains vital for reef life.