Great Barrier Reef is closing for all divers

Great Barrier Reef is closing for all divers

Did you ever get to dive at Great Barrier Reef? If not it just might be to late now as Australia is banning all diving at the reef. We ask: is this fair?

This was of cause an April fools joke - Great Barrier Reef are (to the best of our knowledge) not closing. However, a lot of protection of the reef is going on. Luckily the Australian government is taking the protection of the worlds larges coral system serious.

Today the Australia Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, has signed a declaration closing the Great Barrier Reef for all diving activities until 2030. While this comes as a chock for many divers from around the world, for the local divers around Great Barrier Reef knew this was coming. The damages done to the reef are to extreme and the protective initiatives done to date haven’t been enough.

These measures are done so the reef can get time to regain its natural ecosystem. And so the reef life will have time to recover from all the divers’ chasing and touching them all these years. While this is of cause unfortunate for divers and fans of Australia that has still not had the change to dive here, we believe that this is the only possible solution.

Greg Hunt MP, Australian Minister for the Environment


With immediate effect this declaration will shut down all water sport activity in the 344,400 square kilometer area and especially in the beginning a large amount of police patrolling will take place for enforce the closure.

While many divers are now asking why this is coming so sudden and hoping for one last chance to dive Great Barrier Reef, the head of the Department of the Environment says that this closure needed to be done quickly to avoid a mass panic diving with too many diver rushing in for causing even more damage.



Great Barrier Reef contains:

  • 411 types of hard coral
  • 1,500 species of fish
  • one-third of the world’s soft corals
  • 134 different species of sharks and rays
  • 6 of the world’s 7 species of threatened marine turtles

The environment comes first

Great Barrier Reef is known to diver around the world as one of the best – if not the best – dive site with its huge coral area of more than 410 hard corals, fish life with more than 1500 species and a natural life not seen often. However, because of the scuba divers damaging effect on the marine life, the WWF has worked hard for a total protection of the reef for years – work that now seems to have been successful.

Learn more about diving in Australia here 

What do you think about the closure of Great Barrier Reef? Good for the local environment or too extreme?

About The Author

Torben Lonne

Torben is a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor. He has worked several years with scuba diving in Indonesia and Thailand – and dived most of his life in most of the world.

He is also the co-founder and chief-editor of you can always catch him here [email protected]


  1. Jessica McNeil

    Ohh this is so cool. I was there in 2010 and it was crowded and half the corals was destroyed.

    There weren’t anywhere you could look without divers or snorkelers in the surface.

  2. Jessica McNeil

    And I just saw the date! Ha nice :)

  3. Troy Eli James

    You got to be F… kiding me, I got a booked trip to This in tree month. WHY DIDN’T THEY TELL ANYONE BEFORE!!!
    You can’t just band people from diving places like this, when we already booked a trip there, and the dive center didn’t mention anything.

    • Jessica McNeil

      Hi Troy, if you think about it, it’s good for the environment. We don’t always have to think of ourself, we have too look at the bigger picture. The reef in Australia is really damaged and could use a few years break. Also maybe you should check the date today :)

  4. Troy Eli James

    Ah ha ha ha. Shit. Thanks Jessica. This almost got me pissing my pans.

  5. C. R. B.

    I do agree with you Jessica McNeil. Troy if you don´t control your pipi check it out with your doctor.

  6. storm

    too bad a slight rise in ocean temperature and sea levels will kill all the coral anyway (pretty much guaranteed with politicians like greg hunt and abbott in charge)

  7. amanda

    sadly our government is failing to protect the reef, in fact quite the opposite….

  8. Eleanor Moon

    If Greg Hunt wrote that message, I’m mightily ashamed, unless he was educated in a country other than Australia.

    “While this is(,) of cause (course)(,) unfortunate for divers and fans of Australia that (who) has (have) still not had the change (chance) to dive here…” Oh my sainted aunt, this is appalling for a Federal Minister. No wonder he makes the decisions and judgments he does, the man’s brain is mush.

    • Torben Lonne

      This is what you get when it’s the Divemasters making the transcript of an interview. :-)

  9. Sue Lang

    As lovers of our Reef you might be interested in this –

    The Great Barrier Reef is under threat from the most widespread, rapid and damaging set of industrial developments in Queensland’s history.

    The Queensland Government is fast-tracking mega port developments, dredging and dumping of millions of tonnes of seabed and rock, and encouraging a shipping superhighway.

    The Australian Government is approving these developments, including the world’s biggest coal port at Abbot Point, 50 km from the Whitsunday Islands.

    It’s your Reef, but you’re going to have to fight for it.

    Fight for the Reef is a partnership between WWF-Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

    Fight for the Reef is working with the Australian and international community to protect the Reef and the $6 billion tourism industry and 60,000 jobs it supports.


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