Recreational impacts

Recreational fishing is a major contributor to the depletion of targeted species in wealthier tropical countries (see Fisheries, above). For example, the catch by recreational hook and line fishing for predatory fishes on the GBR rivals commercial fishing. Tourism (Fig. 9.7) also contributes to runoff and nutrient loads on coral reefs through the development of infrastructure such as hotels, marinas and sewage outfalls (see Runoff from Land, above). Anchor damage to corals, accidental boat grounding, fin damage from divers, trampling and l ittering all have localised lethal and sublethal effects on susceptible species. Public education can alleviate most of these problems, and the reef tourism industry can and does play a major role in promoting responsible activities by visitors. Public

Figure 9.7 The incidence of coral disease is increasing on the Great Barrier Reef. Here, a diver records a diseased table coral (Acropora cytherea). (Photo: B. Willis.)

moorings at popular sites have sharply reduced anchor damage.

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