It is known for its seasonal feeding concentrations of the whale shark, and the conservation debate surrounding its potential tourism development. In 1987 the reef and surrounding waters where designated as the Ningaloo Marine Park.
Although most famed for its whale sharks which feed there during March to June, the reef is also rich in coral and other marine life. During the winter months, the reef is part of the migratory routes for dolphins, dugongs, manta rays and humpback whales. The beaches of the reef are an important breeding ground of the loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles. They also depend on the reef for nesting and food. The Ningaloo supports an abundance of fish (500 species), corals (300 species), molluscs (600 species) and many other marine invertebrate. The reef is less than half a kilometre offshore in some areas, such as Coral Bay.
Local author Tim Winton was particularly opposed to the development, and spoke publicly against it. In 2002, when he won the WA Premier's Book Award, he donated the $25,000 prize money to the community campaign to save the reef.
Ultimately the planned resort did not go ahead. However, developers continue to take an interest in the area.
The study will involve the collection and processing of socioeconomic data from tourists and the host communities of Exmouth, Coral Bay and Carnarvon. It will also involve the collection of data concerning the environmental load of human activity including natural resource use, waste generation, pollution, visual impacts and impacts on flora and fauna.
The project will be interactive, and will involve key stakeholders in the region. These stakeholders will include the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), Shires of Carnarvon & Exmouth, local tourism organisations and Tourism WA, Gascoyne Development Commission, Departments of Water and Environment, researchers from Wealth from the Oceans and Ningaloo Project, Chambers of Commerce, Department of Energy and Resources, Department of Fisheries, Department for Planning and Infrastructure, Ningaloo Sustainable Development Committee and Ningaloo Sustainable Development Office, Yamatji Land and Sea Council representatives, and the Ningaloo research community along with other cluster project members and the State’s Ningaloo project. The project will also engage planners and managers in the region to examine tourism development and management.
LOCAL TOURISM OPERATORS SERVICING CORAL BAY, NINGALOO REEF ARE SET TO BENEFIT FROM STARRING ROLE IN GLOBAL TOURISM CAMPAIGN
Jun 02, 2010; PRESTON, Vic., May 31 -- The Hon Martin Ferguson AM, MP, Minister for Resources and Energy issued the following press release /...
The writer and the sea: Australia's best loved novelist invites us to be "changed" by a marine wonderland, and to protect it from gross tourist development.(Tim Wanton and the Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia)(Brief Article)
Feb 01, 2002; TIM WANTON IS ONE OF Australia's best-loved novelists. Since An Open Swimmer was published in 1982 he has won numerous literary...
Location Link: If You Enjoy Diving in Gozo Then You'll Love Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, Says Helen Truszkowski. (Travel)
Feb 01, 2002; Striking coastal cliffs and cobalt-blue water give Malta's little sister island, Gozo, some of the most spectacular diving in the...